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Monday, December 10, 2007

Thanksgiving....a little late


Sometimes writers log onto
Google and type in their
names just to see what's
out there.... Usually
we do this on days when
we wonder if anyone cares
about us... (You know
our egos are frail.)
Here is something I found
that I wrote when I was
the editor of Sascha's
LARGO.

THANKSGIVING IS FOR
THE BEREAVED AND BROKEN
By Alice J. Wisler
Revised from LARGO, Winter 2001

I have a hard time believing it is the
season of holidays again. While this
year should be easier since it will be
our fifth Thanksgiving, Christmas
and New Years without Daniel, I still
feel myself putting on an extra shield
of courage.

In the cool afternoon air I am reminded
of my first Thanksgiving
since Daniel’s death. On that day I
wrote a poem; it wasn’t very good
but it did express what I had learned
from reflecting on the origins of this
national American holiday.

For the first time I thought that the
initial Thanksgiving among the settlers
and the Indians couldn’t have
been that glamorous. Why not? For
one, there had been many losses.
Around those tables were certainly
fathers and mothers who had had to
bury children. While thankful for
much, these parents held heavy
hearts too.

Continuing to reflect this way helps
me realize Thanksgiving is also a
holiday with reality. It is not a
Norman Rockwell painting. While we
like the warmth this artist has
created in his capturing of a happy
Thanksgiving table, we know that in
most families everyone is not present.
Family members are gone from us
and at times all we can notice are the
silent empty chairs. How can we have
Thanksgiving when we are lacking?
This holiday does not have the be-
reaved in mind at all, we conclude.

But, in time, we are able to reflect on
the presence our loved children held
in our lives instead of only focusing
on their absences. They lived and we
are the more blessed because of their
lives – so vibrant and so loving. We
become more aware of just how
much they impacted our lives then –
and even now.

Light a candle this Thanksgiving for
those we miss. Recall how blessed we
were to have them, even for a short
while.

And remember that the origin of
Thanksgiving does not stem from the
situations of cheery and perfectly
intact families. There had been many
deaths during the difficult trek to
this land from England and Europe
and once the settlers arrived, more
deaths due to illness occurred. The
Native Americans experienced heart
breaking losses as well. Even so,
these men and women found reasons
to be thankful. So, although our
sorrow is great, we can be appreciative
for the memories we hold in our
hearts.

Thanksgiving is a holiday
which includes each of us – bereaved
and broken.

3 comments:

Debbie said...

What a neat blog you have here! Best of luck in your writing. :)

Debbie
http://my-God-rocks.blogspot.com

alice wisler said...

Thanks! I appreciate you stopping by!

Tanya Guinn said...

Thank you Alice, and thanks to Susanne who shared this with me.... My first Thanksgiving without my Mom. Missing our daughter who lives in Maine with our son in law and their cat. We do have so much to be thankful for & good memories. I appreciate your thoughts Alice, on the early settlers, Native Americans and their losses ... Far away from some they love too. My Mother was an immigrant after WWII and survived labor camps, and the ship ride to America, thru Ellis Island, to be with my dad here....never saw her Mother again (taken when she was 14) she spoke to my Grandmother on the phone one time, and all that my Grandmother could say was "my little soul" over & over in Ukrainian. Now she is with her Mother again.