Sunday, November 8, 2009

Traditions

When I was a little girl, Thanksgiving was celebrated at my grandparents house.
Then my grandparents started to die off.
And so did Thanksgiving traditions.

Then I moved away, and Thanksgiving had even less tradition for me.
I celebrated with various people through the years.
Chicago, New York, Orlando.
But I rarely went back home.

When Roger and I started officially dated, it was only a few weeks before Thanksgiving.
Although we called each other, I celebrated with an old friend from New York and her family in West Florida.
Roger celebrated with his sister and mom here in Orlando.

That was their tradition.
His mom and sister would travel to Orlando.
Roger would make the turkey.
Other people from his family would come to his house.
He was the tradition for Thanksgiving.

By the following Thanksgiving, we were engaged.
Roger cooked the turkey.
I helped with the sides.
I was excited.
It was time for a new tradition.
Thanksgiving was ours.
I was happy.
It felt perfect.

The following year, Thanksgiving 2007, I bought the roasting pan for the turkey.
I convinced Roger it was a good investment.
Instead of buying the disposable aluminum turkey pans, we would have a real pan.
It was on sale and in seven to eight Thanksgivings it would have paid for itself.
We were being green.

We had his cousin and his wife over for Thanksgiving.
And their four girls.
And Roger's sister and his mom.
And Roger and me.
In the new house.
Roger's mom prayed for little pitter patter of feet.
Not just of the cats.

But Thanksgiving is not at my house anymore.
Not last year.
Not this year.
The pan was used just the one time.
One fucking time.
No one comes to my house for Thanksgiving anymore.

I had a Thanksgiving tradition.
Had.
Now I am back to being a nomad.
Trying to figure out where I will be for this holiday.
Or the next.
Trying to find my place again.
I feel tradition-less again.

Crap...

3 comments:

Crash Course Widow said...

I've often had a hard time with Thanksgiving--far harder than Christmas, actually. Christmas, I can enjoy (more or less)...but being told to be thankful, give thanks for what I have? I mean, yes, of course I'm thankful for what I do still have...but I've struggled with this holiday many times in the last 4 years. Fortunately (I guess?) it's pretty clear what my tradition is each year: either spend it with my family or...play it by ear the years I was supposed to spend it with Charley and the in-laws. But this year is actually the first one where I'm going to go to GP to spend Turkey Day with Charley's parents. Charley and I only had one Thanksgiving there--2 weeks before we got married. Now that I think of it, I hope it won't be a hard one this year, being there for the first time since then over Thanksgiving.

I know it's a shit response, but who knows--maybe eventually that pan will get its proper use, more than just the one time. Which won't change the facts in any way that it still sucks now that it's not getting used in the manner and tradition you've always planned and hoped for...but sometimes, the new plans in the future can also turn out just as good (and sometimes better even) than the old plans. Yes, they're different and yes, there's always the excruciating pain until you get to that "better" point...but you won't always feel like awful. Thank god.

I hope Thanksgiving isn't too awful for you this year. I was pretty bombed out the 2nd yr for it--I'd just moved out of "our" marital home the day before, and I basically slept through the whole day, avoiding it all. Which worked okay, it turns out, since packing and leaving that house was the hardest thing I've had ato do this entire journey. The 3rd year was my worst Thanksgiving...which is also when I felt the worst, was scraping the absolute bottom of the grief pit, too. I doubt it's a coincidence that the holiday was particularly ugly for me that year.

Hang in there!

Supa Dupa Fresh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Supa Dupa Fresh said...

Don't be too hard on yourself. I know it sucks to have broken a tradition that had hardly started, but you have much time to invent a new one.

Maybe Star's Thanksgiving traditions will include doing the Electric Slide wearing feather boas. Eating a ceremonial popsicle at midnight. Offering a shot of scotch to anyone who walks in the door during the 4-day holiday. Maybe even something that's uniquely meaningful to you.

This is disrupted time -- yes, it sucks -- but don't try to get anything stable out of it. That will come when you're ready.

See if you can enjoy the drift and do something different for a few years.

You're certainly welcome up here. Seriously. :-)

X

Supa