Yesterday was our 3rd annual Nantroup Thanksgiving. It gets better every year, too. Nat's Grandma Nancy was there (Abuelita), she is by far the funniest South American woman I know. Her thick Columbian (I think) accent lends a bend of hilarity to every joke she cracks. There are quotes that have been dubbed "Abuelita classics;" one of them is specific to Micah ("I like your rooster crest" with lots of rolling Rs) and the other one is specific to the first time I met her. (Chuck, her son, was joking with her about being Mexican and she bursts out with " MEXICO YOUR MAMA.") Last night a new classic was born. "I'm like Santa longer and you're right behind me!" (her response to Chuck kidding with her that she's so old she's been around longer than Santa Claus). It also turns out that the day before Thanksgiving was the 60th anniversary of the day she came to America, and the 42nd anniversary of her citizenship. I am fascinated by her.
So today is the National Day of Listening and long before I knew it actually had a name I was doing just that every Thanksgiving. Asking questions, listening to stories. Every year it seems I lose a little piece of my family so I am very thankful for all the years I was able to have nostalgic dinner conversation with aunts and uncles who are no longer here. Now that I live so far from my family my heart aches to hear the same old stories that are told year after year. But now I feed that void with Nantroup/Gill/Sabiglia lore...and lots of stuffing and cranberry sauce.
It was a bittersweet Thanksgiving this year as always, as I celebrate my 'favorite' holiday in new ways. Of course I cried a little on the drive home as I recalled to Dave how I found myself eating, for the first time, bites of turkey smeared in cranberry sauce just like I've seen my Grandmother do so many times. Thanksgiving for me is always a silver cloud with black lining.
And just to add a pinch of insult to my already injured feelings, my gym caught fire early this morning. So this year I can't even Spin my way out of the sadness.