Tomorrow in 90 degree heat – we will be gather around the picnic table in our backyard for Thanksgiving dinner. There will be 4 generations at that table. That alone is something to be ever so grateful for. And yet, as much as I have so much to be grateful for my heart still aches. Tomorrow is never given and each day that passes we seem to lose someone that we’ve held close to our hearts. I don’t know about you but the holidays are tough especially when there is an empty seat at the table.
My first memory of loss was as a child. We had a neighbor friend of my father who traveled the world in his VW bus and he would send me post cards and gifts from all over the world. He had no family of his own that I can recall. No matter where he was in the world, he found his way to our house for Thanksgiving dinner and he always brought a couple of pies from House of Pies. It was our family tradition. He would stay in LA through the holidays and take off again to parts unknown for the rest of the year. Years and years that was our holiday… and then one year Joe didn’t show up for Thanksgiving dinner. When Christmas rolled around and he didn’t show up mom and I went to his apt to inquire, only to find out he had passed away. Alone. I was devastated and I think that was one of the reasons I started my orphan Thanksgiving dinner. All of my friends alone were always invited to come for dinner. As a teenager we used to go from house to house on Thanksgiving day sampling everyone’s offerings. That was our tradition and I look back on those days with great fondness.
Just last night, David Cassidy passed. An icon of our childhood, yet another reminder of our innocence lost. With so much pain and suffering in the world in recent years, it makes the loss even harder to take. So many of my dear friends have said goodbye to their loved ones this year and there are no words to say. Only love and hugs to give and to be grateful for the memories we have of them. I will always treasure the memories of the few years I had with my own father before he passed.
Maybe this holiday season we can dig deep and find the love in our hearts again for one another. Maybe we can agree to disagree and learn to respect each other and our opinions and not be judge, jury and executioner. There was an elderly lady the other day at light asking for money. She must have been in her 80s with a bald head and the bluest of eyes I’ve ever seen. While Chris searched for money in his wallet the cars behind us honked and honked as the tears fell from my eyes. How can we be so cold-hearted to let something like this happen? What has happened to this country, to ourselves that we have so many homeless living on the streets, so many in need of medical and mental health attention.
Sure it’s easy to blame it on our President, our government, but where is our accountability in all this. One of my favorite quotes is “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” What are we doing to make this world a better place to live in, for ourselves and for our children’s children? It’s easy to point fingers at each other but how often do we look the man/woman in the mirror and realize we’re not perfect either. We project our hate, our anger at ourselves onto each other.
So this holiday season I ask of you my friends and myself, let’s be a little kinder, a little happier, carry the load a little lighter, find the love within and share it with others. Send a card to someone you haven’t seen in ages. Pick up the phone and call someone. Be of service. Volunteer. The happiest people I know are those aways helping others. Invite a friend home for the holidays. Rescue a dog or kitty, or even a horse. Let’s open our hearts.
From my house to your house… Happy Thanksgiving.