I didn’t have holidays or birthday celebrations as a child. Daddy was a Jew and Momma was a Jehovah’s Witness. Me, I grew up to be a theologian who has discovered her own relationship with God via the miracles he’s performed in my life. Since the Bickersons couldn’t agree on anything, but especially religious teachings Momma just decided that we didn’t need to have any holidays. You can’t miss what you never had so I didn’t feel deprived.

My real life, my happy life began with the birth of my daughter Crystal.  I celebrated every thing there is with her, beginning at the age of 27. I didn’t know a thing about cooking a turkey or decorating a tree. We learned together and I was Santa for the next 24 years. All the inlaws and outlaws came to our house for Turkey and pies, or to spoil her on her special days. Everyone adored Crystal, she was so charismatic.  Crystal was the best present in the world and giving to her and watching the joy in her face as she opened her goodies was enough for me.

That was until cancer stole her away from me. The holidays died with her. Not because I wanted them to. It just happened that way. There is no one left but my mother  in person and yes, by now she wants to celebrate everything and has put religion far behind her. So now she the one that  I foster through every holiday. But I am Santa…and she doesn’t realize that even Santa should get some milk and cookies…ha…ha…

Thanksgiving is just another lonely day at our house. I can’t afford the food to cook and have no one to invite. This morning Momma woke up sad and feeling the crunch of poverty. Longing to be with family in the distance. To even be remembered by them. They haven’t called her or come to see her in over three years. Except for my older brother Dan and he’s busy with his own world. She is elderly now and people always forget the elderly on holidays, don’t realize that they are alone having mostly outlived their family or been forgotten by new generations who are busy with their own lives.

I am always alone. Even in a crowd. I always have been. I would like to have had the goodies this year. But me and the cat are sharing a tuna sandwich and life goes on. I’m spending the day promoting my novel and I’ll write a few pages this afternoon on the new one SAM.  Momma is watching old movies cuddled with her furry purrys.  I made her a goodie tray.  Not the usual fare but it was pretty good!

When I think of thanksgiving, there is a photo somewhere in a box of Crystal at age six holding a pecan pie. I remember it as if it just happened. She begged me to let her help in the kitchen that year because I baked for three days every year to feed an army.  I guess she wanted to  be part of that.  So I laid out all the ingredients and she stood on a chair with a voluminous apron around her pretty little party dress (we always dressed up for the holidays) flour on her nose, mixing them together. I wasn’t allowed to touch anything at all.  It was her way and my instructions and she was hell bent on perfection.  😛

She cracked her first three eggs that day. (None of the shells fell in the batter) I told her how to whisk them. She poured the entire batter, and the bowl was nearly as big as she was, in to a pie crust. Then I took it to the oven and put it in for her. She watched it for 45 minutes thorugh the glass in the oven, like it was a baby in a womb. Sniffing the heavenly aroma of pecans, butter and vanilla in the air as it heated up. I had set a timer for her but she was glued to the oven scared if she left it might burn.  I showed her how to use a toothpick to makes sure it was done in the center. Took it out. When it was cooled she held it and tried to look nonchalant, grown up holding it with mitts at I snapped her photo on a poloroid. When the pic developed she took it around to all the relatives who were sitting there gorging on goodies and bragged. “Look it’s my first pie!”

She ate two pieces of it with a huge glass of milk that day.  It was the best pie I ever tasted.  🙂

I am smiling. Maybe today we aren’t roasting a turkey, eating pies or bored silly with the football blaring on the tv and the men sitting around patientlly waiting for their women to signal for them to pack it up and head home again…but no one can take away the ones we’ve shared in the past. They live forever in our hearts.

This is my message today to the rest of the world. These moments your sharing  will be THE memories to last you a lifetime. Whether its you who have been left behind in the end or those you love remembering you.   Enjoy every little moment with your dears. Give them all your attention today. Bake the pie with the little ones and don’t hate the football too much if your hubby and Dad are sitting there side by side.  Take a photo and think to yourself, they are so beautiful and I’m so blessed to have them here today!

This truly is a day of sharing and Thanks!  Be grateful and be kind to those you know, perhaps a neighbor or a freind online who is alone every day of the year.  Send them a little message or give them a call. Your friendship, your kindness and your love make a difference!
Happy Thanksgiving Ya’ll! 🙂

By darlenepurcell

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