It's Thanksgiving weekend, and like many Canadians, there is a turkey in my oven, and we are expecting company for dinner. Also, in company with many Canadians, I will spend more time today thinking about just what it is that makes me thankful... family and friends, of course. Health, a safe place to live, enough food to eat, things like that.
This afternoon, though, while I was peeling carrots and potatoes, I found myself thinking about my mother and wishing that she was going to be here to share Thanksgiving with us. If she were here, I would say thank you to her - it's not that I never said it, but as I sat with a potato in one hand, and the peeler in the other, it occurred to me to wonder just how many vegetables she had peeled for us, how many meals she had cooked. We pretty much always said thanks for whatever meal was on our plate, but it was a pretty general kind of thanks. I'm quite sure I didn't thank her for hundreds of other things.
My mother told me stories before I went to school in the mornings.
She made me milk coffee when I was sick, or when I was just sad.
She rubbed Vick's on my chest when I got croup as a little girl.
She did my laundry.
She cooked thousands of meals for me.
She was my cheerleader.
She taught me how to bake bread (even if she never imagined that I'd turn out making challah!)
She listened to me when I ranted but never thought of interfering.
She laughed with me and occasionally told shocking jokes... there was that one about the cows...
She taught me grammar (for which everyone in my world is, no doubt, very grateful...).
She was proud of me.
She knit beautiful sweaters for me.
She knew that my daughter truly is a little treasure.
I think more about my mum today than about my dad, because my mum was the cook in the family. Daddy could make an awesome roast beef gravy... and he occasionally cooked the heck out of a steak (seriously - burnt or well-burnt), but he wasn't overly domestic...
He taught me how to play poker, though - and taught me a bigger lesson when he put the cards away for a while after he caught me cheating.
He took out the garbage THOUSANDS of times, without complaining.
He built occasional fences (the kind that go around a garden - not much metaphorical about him)
Daddy knew, just KNEW, that all HIS grandchildren were the best in the entire world.
He taught me what Remembrance Day is, and why it's so important, still.
He snuggled with me every night after dinner, watching the news together in his chair in the living room.
He taught me grace for meals, and prayers for nighttime.
He taught me how to drive (minus the whole parallel parking thing...)
My parents loved me, and today, I miss them so much, because they're not here to thank.
If you're reading this, and there are people in your life who deserve your thanks, don't assume that they know it. Tell them. You just don't know when you won't have the chance to say it anymore.