If there is one place to be courageous, it’s with your family. Courage counts most when love is at stake.
The women of Thistle Farms are the best example of love, courage and healing I can think of. They are a family of lions who’ve overcome life on the streets to build a very successful company. I wrote a story about the dinner we shared with a few of these remarkable women. Planning for Thanksgiving this year, I thought about them and how much a meal can mean.
What is Thanksgiving really about? I think it’s a prayer for community and connection. We speak of gratitude, but what means the most is the people who make it home. Missing even one person feels like a tragedy.
This year I want our Thanksgiving to also signify healing. And healing requires courage. The courage to accept everyone in your family with an open heart, understanding that they may not love you back the way you want them to.
My contribution to the healing process will be a relaxed attitude. I’m also going to tape the word acceptance to my ankle as a reminder. This may not seem like a big deal, but it is. I’ve been worked up several times about Thanksgiving this year, from who comes to how many people we can wedge around our table. There will be some very different personalities and divergent values present. Politics will be the least of our challenges.
I also have a lurking fear of cold food and dry turkey. Plus, we have a gluten-free cousin, a vegetarian daughter, two picky eaters, and a two-year-old cousin dead-in-the-center of the terrible twos. I will try not to float my anxiety in a glass of white wine. Our wine glasses are the size of large mangos. Family drama will bubble under the surface because it does. If I keep myself dialed down on Thursday, I will consider it a super-sized gift to all.
I told everyone to wear whatever they want, although sweatpants will surely get on my nerves. They can spill on the “good rugs.” Goodness knows, our dogs have made a habit of peeing and chewing on the good ones exclusively.
My Thanksgiving healing mantra will be — what matters is that everyone feel loved, comforted, and part of the family. This means that I can’t hiss at my husband, not even once.
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!