Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, if not the favorite, because I am surrounded by family for three days.

I am going home this afternoon from work and cook…breakfast casserole and possibly start on the sweet potato souffle…which means I need to go buy a bottle of Jack…or Rum…put probably Jack as I used all my bourbon and Rum for my self-made cough medicine.

Wednesday afternoon we are having professional photographs taken of the family.

Wednesday evening  I will make the pies.  Wednesday night we have the first family dinner which is usually at a low-key restaurant with the family that has flown in to drink and eat and talk.

Thursday begins with brunch and goes through dinner with all the family on my Mom’s side.  I have this vision that my grandmother and her sister are sitting in Heaven with my mom, Dad, Gerry and Jim and watching all their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren enjoying the day.

But there are other aspects to family gathering that I am thinking about now.  My sister called to update me on our cousin L who is in her midfifties and has Alzheimer’s Disease.   She can carry on a one-on-one conversation but won’t engage in family discussions and stays quiet.  They had to take her car and car keys away from her.  This is a woman who was the head surgical nurse for a huge hospital in Phoenix and had her realtors license and had her children in her forties.  She was always talkative, fun, caring, funny…but no longer.  She has a 17 year old daughter and a 12 year old son.  But our family will be as we always are and welcome her in with love and compassion and understanding.  I will sit with her and talk.

The great thing about our family is that people are always welcomed in with love and caring and support.  Even those people we don’t actually like that much, you know, certain in-laws (or out-laws as my grandfather used to call them) are still welcomed.  

I don’t remember much about last Thanksgiving, honestly, as I was on Percocet and my brother-in-law was mixing his Bloody Mary’s. I do remember at one point my cousin, Pat, took my drink from me.  I think I was either about to pass out or I thought the room was spinning.  WARNING CHILDREN:  Do not mix strong vodka drinks with morphine based prescription meds.

But what I always remember about the family dinners is the feeling of warmth, and love, and laughter.

P.S.  Still taking the bottle of Xanax with me as I have to put up with one Out-law that if she says one unkind word to my sister I’m going to verbally bitch slap her.  


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