For me, holidays always conjure up memories of years past. I remember myself as a young girl, watching my mom, aunt, and grandma, cooking and laughing in the kitchen. My grandma would grab me as I walked past, and squeeze me to her, saying, "There's my beautiful doll! Give your grandma a kiss!" I would kiss her quickly, then struggle out of her strong grasp, but I loved it.
When I got a bit older, I remember playing pool with my cousins, and trying to beat my grandpa at a game of ping pong. He was hard to beat, and he never let anyone win, so I had to work hard for every point. I remember how good it would make me feel, even when I lost, when he would say, "You played a good game, Jenny".
I remember how I used to complain about having to sit at "the kid table", even though I was a teenager. My cousins and I would laugh and tell each other stories, but I was interested in the conversations going on at "the big table".
We would eat turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolls, green beans, jello, and applesauce. Sometimes, my mom would bring something out halfway through the meal, saying, "I forgot to put this out", and we would all groan, and grab our bellies which were straining against our pants. Someone would always say, "I don't think I can eat another bite", but then in just a few hours, mom would be bringing out pie, ice cream, pretzels, and drinks.
I remember playing games after dinner. Sometimes we would play Family Feud, other times, Pictionary. Regardless of what we played, there was lots of noise, and laughter. My grandma was always yelling out answers when she wasn't supposed to, and then she would grin, and say, "Oh, well, I was just helping".
I remember my grandparents, always sitting next to each other, my grandfather's hand frequently resting on her shoulder. She would often turn to him, in the middle of a story, to ask, "Right, Ken?" I remember thinking to myself that someday I wanted someone to love me that much.
I remember when Thanksgiving day would come to an end, and my family would put on their coats, and the goodbyes would begin. The goodbye portion of the evening always lasted a long time. There were lots of hugs, and kisses, and last minute words of advice, and "I Love You"'s shouted out the door all the way to the car. I remember the glow of happiness that lasted after they were gone, and my parents and I would rehash the days events.
Things are different now. Not better, not worse, just different. Even though, I often think of how things were at the holidays, I am thankful for all those wonderful times and the memories that go with them. More than that, I am thankful for what I have now. I am thankful for the new memories I am making for myself, and for Dylan. I am thankful for everything that I have and for everything that I had. It was a very happy Thanksgiving.