As the holidays approach…among the many feel-good stories are one or two that tell of human angst. You know, where a parent can’t forgive his child some youthful transgression. Or best girlfriends are still not speaking because one stole the other’s boyfriend years before. Or siblings who never got along still can’t sit down together for a Thanksgiving meal.
So much is expected of the holidays…cheer, merriment, good will toward all. Any negative vibes should be dismissed, or at least temporarily “swept under the rug.”
Have you looked under that rug lately? Pretty dusty, I’ll bet.
Thanksgiving Day is a mixed bag of feelings for me.
On the one hand, I’m happy to have my loved ones close at hand. Hubby home from work and relaxing. Our daughter home from wherever she’s been dancing.
We’re always blest to sit down to a bounteous meal, whether of our own doing or that of some clever chef at a restaurant.
I count my blessings, every one, including our furry family of critters.
We’ve a comfortable home in which we dwell, and wonderful memories to keep us company the rest of our lives.
Family and friends are there when we need them. And even when we don’t.
Despite all the joys with which I’ve been blest, one memory of Thanksgiving past continues to haunt my thoughts.
It was my first Thanksgiving as a young, married 20-year-old.
Amid family and friends, I became increasingly saddened despite all the revelry happening around me. I felt I didn’t fit in. Perhaps it was because I wanted my brand new husband to fit in. His shyness seemed a hindrance, although I don’t think he felt it. Nonetheless, I felt for him, and in turn for myself.
Deciding to halt the charade that I wasn’t able to continue, I approached the hostess to say I wasn’t feeling well and that we would be leaving.
It was as though I’d removed my finger from the hole in a dam and let loose a tsunami of seismic proportions.
As everyone gathered around, I was given a thorough dressing down like I’d never experienced before, or since. As tears ran uncontrollably down my cheeks, I was told my husband and I were immature for playing with the youngsters, and not drinking with the adults.
The remaining tirade is now a fog, but at the time every word was like an arrow that found its mark. I was devastated. Some of the men tried to run interference, but the tongue lashing continued until I was mush.
The final blow that took me down was being told that if I left early, I would never be able to step foot in the house again. To appease others, I sat through dinner, head bent, self esteem shattered.
We never returned for Thanksgiving Dinner.
As is always the case, forgiving occurs…long before you forget.
There have been get-togethers, far and few between. None have ever bridged the gap that grew ever-wider because of distance and time.
But as the years pass, I’ll always wonder what initiated the vendetta. And why was it aimed at me?
An apology was never extended. I figured because I was probably culpable in the perpetrator’s mind. That it was ever open to discussion never occurred to me. With her, it was…what it was. Case closed.
So if I’m gun-shy around Thanksgiving celebrations…it is…what it is.
Some have told me that I’m too sensitive. I’ve recently read it can be the result of having fibromyalgia.
Whether it’s because of an incident long ago or an illness that’s currently got me in its grips, my holiday story is one of reflection.
…thanksgiving is not a one-size-fits-all celebration…
English: “The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth” (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)