Thanksgiving is a simple holiday, where the celebration is centered around the table, the care in food preparation, and the ability to smile with one another. Gathering is cathartic. I realize now how important it was for my mom to have everyone collected. There is power of renewal in being together, regardless of how dry the turkey may be. New little ones, making their debut for their first Thanksgiving, remind those who have suffered loss that hope reigns. Those reconciling disappointments can be encouraged by others who have persevered. Being together is a good reminder.
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My mom has been gone for several Thanksgivings now, yet my heart memory of her kitchen remains an example of how to celebrate in authentic style. My mom set the perfect Thanksgiving table, despite the mismatched silverware and piano-bench seating. Every year in her honor, we too, sit at the same table, whatever it takes. We embrace one another allowing the joys and sorrows of the past year to flow freely beneath the laughter and chatter of the day. And just like my sister and I did in years past, our daughters now share a seat, just in case we need room for one more.
Anne Marie Romer is a regular contributor.