Sunday, November 29, 2009

Let us love one another ...

Mom & Jackie at our crazy, patchwork Thanksgiving table.

For decades, holiday dinners equaled high drama for my family. Suppressed feelings, hurt feelings, submerged anger, expectations gone awry – all these simmering feelings seemed to boil over at table during the holidays. You’ve seen its like on TV: the shouting matches, the tears, the storming exits, and those who sat through the storm, nibbling on pie, unfazed. Why, we even had a surprise proposal made and declined at table, which pretty much rocked Mothers’ Day dinner.

Thanksgiving held a particular pumpkin flavored drama. Angst over turkey and all the trimmings. Amazing that we kept coming back year after year.

Then, somehow, all the drama seemed to dissolve.

I cannot even pinpoint the year. Maybe (some of) the crazy people stopped coming. Maybe (some of) us realized that we could manage our relationships with dialogue rather than avoidance. Maybe we all realized that we love each other, and when we remembered to notice the love, then that was truly enough.

Somehow, the holiday at the Rivers’ table became cordial, then pleasant, then downright happy.

We have grown and grown up.

We have added family members through


and osmosis,

And, with good food (Jackie really is the best Thanksgiving cook EVER),

good people,

and good conversation,

there really is an incredible lot to be thankful for.

So in this world where political, economic, environmental, cultural, religious, gender, racial, ethnic and personal tides threaten our sense of self and right and wrong; where dark forces seek to frighten us into embracing dubious agendas; and where it is so easy to turn off rather than stand up, I think it important to remember who we are and who we love. And, if you think you have no one to love, I will go out on a limb and say you’re wrong. Unless you choose it so. Hell, come to our house. We’ll LOVE talking the ears off of new people!

Let us rail against the darkness. While we're at it, let us appreciate the blessings we know, and work to recognize those we have yet to acknowledge. Let us reach out. Let us love one another. Let us give thanks that by reaching and loving we enlighten the darkness.

Happy Thanksgiving.



Lori Skoog said...

Hello stranger! Looks like Thanksgiving was full of thanks giving. Everyone was in the pictures except for you...what a feast. Hope all is well and that you will be back sooner than later.

mountain.mama said...

The family and friends getting along is so much better than the awesome food!

Janie said...

I'm glad everyone enjoyed the feasting and companionship this year. Family and friendship are good reasons to give thanks.

CoyoteFe said...

Greetings Lorelei! I hope your Thanksgiving was bright!

Mountain Mama - I agree. Food is good, but smiling, laughing people are the true treat!

Janie - Thank you, and I hope you were blessed with good food and people (not necessarily in that order!).

rebecca said...

In my family, verbal acrobatics and high drama was always shunned. We preferred to bury our heads in the sand and act like nothing was be discussed at a later date, at a better time...for whatever gathering there was, it was never the proper forum. In time, many hot heads got cooled off thru this family protocol (and I think it was the matriach's intent all along since she wouldn't have any of it) and those that still carried anger/grudge/whatever did not make appearances until cooler heads prevailed. Mother would not have any of it. Any of it! So we did as Mama always said, even after she was long gone. But I have to say that thru all misunderstandings, words, and such, in the end, we all came together (blood and non-blood) like family always should. Families are a strange lot - all families - but we find that it is in our own that we gather strength - and weather many storms -- and find that the cohesiveness that makes us what we are still very much reigns.

So glad you're writing again... :)