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by Barbara Wood last modified Nov 21, 2018 16:31

I was at the nail salon yesterday - I wasn't getting a manicure or pedicure as I'm extremely fidgety and ticklish. I met one of my friends there at the end of her pedicure. As I took a seat and waited, I couldn't help but hear some of the conversations that were swirling around the small salon. The chatter was mainly centered around Thanksgiving. The salon was packed. All the ladies (and two gentlemen) were getting ready for the big day. The manicurists were not native to America. I'm going to take guess at this, but I suspect, Vietnam. I wondered what their Thanksgiving table looked like - did it incorporate American traditional fare? Was it infused with delicious dishes from their country?

One customer caught my attention: an elderly woman. She looked maybe 80+. She was beautifully dressed in black and cream, with jewelry to match. Very elegant. The manicurist asked her if her family was going to join her for Thanksgiving. The lady said, "No, they're all gone". The manicurist, whose face I couldn't see must have looked confused, because the woman continued, "My children are not here, they are dead!

My ears pricked up. She had done the unthinkable - outlived her children. My writer's brain went into overdrive and I tried to imagine how her children had perished: cancer, accident, overdose? She said it so matter of fact. Maybe they had died a long time ago? I imagined what her Thanksgiving table would look like. Who would be sitting around it?. What did it used to look like in years gone by - perhaps her children sitting around the table with the Thanksgiving turkey so proudly presented (like a Norman Rockwell painting) and Dad ready to carve?

Thanksgiving is all about family - making the trip across town or across the country to be with your loved ones. This time of year, America is on the move. Tried and tested recipes are being recreated once again. The familiar aromas and family traditions abound. But for some, Thanksgiving is a time to remember those who are no longer here. Many Thanksgiving tables will have an empty spot.

However you are spending your Thanksgiving this year, I hope that you enjoy your loved ones, even the grumpy Uncle or weird Aunt!



Happy New Year!!!




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