By Anna Von Reitz
Our family will be apart—again—this Thanksgiving. It has been more than a decade since we’ve seen our oldest son. It isn’t a matter of estrangement, it’s a matter of Duty Stations.
Our eldest daughter is clinging to life, beset by many health problems. One is reminded of a magnificent bear beset by wolves. No one malady can take her, but they hunt in packs.
Thyroid imbalance cooperates with adult onset diabetes and they collude with chronic back pain caused by a freak accident, and bit by bit, she slips away.
She won’t have the health to spare to come to our Thanksgiving table this year.
Our middle son is the typical rising star can-do-it-all guy, with all the problems that go with that. Has to work all the time, be on call, run, run, run.... lucky that he and his wife can slip away to a restaurant somewhere at the end of the day and pay someone for a shadow of a Thanksgiving Dinner.
So we will have what we have, with those similarly afflicted, and we will cobble together a time to cheer each other up, make the best of it, and be thankful for those blessings that remain.
My dog is still alive. An ancient Labrador Retriever that the vets gave up on more than a year ago, is still frisking in the snow and laughing at me with his eyes every morning.
My husband, who according to the experts, should have died a long time ago, is similarly ill-disposed to comply with the opinions of the doctors. His cheeks are pink, his eyes are bright, at pushing eighty, he is shoveling snow and clicking right along.
It appears that life and love do count for something, after all.
And we are blessed by friends both near and far. Those who love this country and who love the Earth and who love freedom, have come from all the corners of the Earth, and both in fact and in spirit, they will be here with us on Thanksgiving Day.
It’s not likely to be any big, fancy deal. Just a basic Thanksgiving Dinner with turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, green beans, cranberries.
And we will share that simple menu and be very grateful for it.
We will remember the Wild Turkeys that fed our forefathers and the domestic turkeys we raised ourselves in years gone by. We will remember the smell of the earth as we harvested potatoes and the blossoms of the beans nodding on the summer wind. We will remember picking wild rice and wild cranberries and the full moons of September and October rising above the lakes we have traveled in canoes from shore to shore.
We will remember every place we have ever called home, and all our friends and family, our co-workers, our mentors, and all those who made a difference in our lives for the better—those that are here with us and those who are gone. We will stop and savor “the All of it”.
The ebb and flow of seasons. The smell of pine and wood fires and snow. The snug feeling of being where we belong, and being who we are, and being at peace with the mystery that surrounds us.
And most of all, the mystery of being together in spite of everything that tries to keep us apart.