This Thanksgiving I’ll be with four other people who find themselves in much the same position I’m in: living in a city without family nearby to spend the holidays with. I have some cousins, second cousins, actually, living 20 or 30 minutes away, but seeing them would be much like seeing strangers.

I’ve had three invitations from local friends to join their family, and there’s a part of me that would like to have accepted their generosity. But truthfully, there’s a bigger part of me that looks forward to the time after the meal, when I come home and spend the time with my cats, knitting and watching classic movies.

I’ll enjoy my holiday, I have no doubt about it, both the time with friends and the time alone. I know two of the four people who will be sharing a meal with me; I believe I’ve met the other two but have barely spoken to them. Still, the two I do know are fun, and one of them in particular “gets” me. I’m free to be myself, quiet or goofy, whichever side comes out.

Growing up, I don’t really remember much about how we celebrated Thanksgiving. I believe we included friends who, like me today, have no family nearby with whom they can share the traditions and turkey, but I don’t remember any of them in particular.

me-mom-and-beth-thanksgiving-c-1997

Me, my mom and sister at Thanksgiving nearly 20 years ago, when I was living in Nashville, with no family nearby — they both flew out to see me. I still have that sweater…

I do remember, in my twenties, my mom and stepdad included a Russian couple and their grown daughter, and, for that matter, her fiancé (both were medical students, as I recall). Lisa, Misha and Olga were Russian Jews who had faced persecution under the Soviet Union, and they emigrated to the United States sometime while Olga was still fairly young. Misha, who had an advanced degree, was forced to take a job delivering pizza. Lisa was also highly educated, and she learned how to do nails to make a living. She did my mom’s nails; that was how they met.

It was appropriate to have immigrants at our Thanksgiving table. The tale we’re told of the first Thanksgiving is similar, with a group of European immigrants breaking bread with the Native Americans.

So as we celebrate with our family, friends, or by ourselves, let our thoughts include all those who face adversity in seeking a better, safer life. We cannot become complacent in the lives we lead. We must remember the sacrifices others made for us to give us what we have today, and be willing to open our doors to others who seek the same for the generations of their family to come.

God bless us, everyone.

 

7 Comments on “All Who Are Weary, Eat

  1. Belinda, I hope you had a great T-Giving. I suspect your cats did for sure once you returned home from your meal. Very nice hearing there are still folks in the world who had/have the “awareness” to invite you to spend the Holiday with them. I recall spending most Thanksgivings at my grandparents’ home…carefully navigating the time spent between the dinner table and in front of the TV watching football. My grandfather was a quiet man…who only ever got upset – on Thanksgiving – when my grandmother would continue to serve others instead of sitting down and eating her own meal! She always was looking to make sure everyone had enough. I also recall how hard it was to go back to school after those weekends. Too. Much. Food.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We love Belinda at Gastradamus. Her affection towards cats inspires people throughout the blogging world. Belinda we need you at Gastradamus. Your voice has been terribly missed. Please let us know what you think of our latest short story we call Queen Kong and I

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      • You were one of our first followers. The blog is taking off and I when it goes viral I will remember and take care of you . would love your feedback on queen Kong and I… Miss Scarlet i s also getting a lot of buzz. How have you been anyway? Great to hear from you again

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