I've had to rest a bit between my own cooking today, so I'm glad I declined all pie orders. I realize though, what those orders meant, beyond extra spending money for Christmas gifts. They meant planning and anticipation. I had people coming to my door throughout the day. Those pie orders and the customers who placed them helped to keep me occupied so I had less time to think about who would not be coming through my door for Thanksgiving. Or Christmas. Or a single of her grandchildren's many birthdays, days which have passed and are still to come.
I miss Mama. I miss her fussing over the foods. I miss helping her decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. I just miss her. Yesterday was Grandparents' Day at the girls' school and I just checked them out early after Clare's school program. We all went out to eat for lunch, out and away from the loving hugs and pride in older eyes. It was all so much--so much love and goodness--but goodness, it was all just too much for me.
So, even after nine years, I'm still figuring out how I'll make it without her. And, I am. We are. We will. I am not alone and I have memories inside my heart. And for that, I am so very thankful.
This year, instead of pies and customers, I have been blessed with more time with my children and by words, like these incredibly beautiful stories listed below. They are stories of love, family, food, Thanksgiving, and sometimes, grief. They are each unique, each moving, each incredibly beautiful. Take a little time to read them. They will make you cry and grab your loved ones for a hug or two.
Let us give thanks for all we have, including those we have loved and those who have loved us, whether they are near or far.
The Lost Voice: A Thanksgiving Story
(and if you haven't subscribed to The Bitter Southerner, please do so)
Cooking Lessons for Life
On Thanksgiving, Caring for Those Who Cared for Us
Making a Place for Grief at the Table on Thanksgiving
Mama painted this when I was only a few years old. It always went up in our kitchen on November 1. Now, it hangs on our wall throughout the month of November.