I Always Loved Thanksgiving, Until…

beaverdamusa.com, mark grissom, chicago cubsWell…Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants on winning the World Series this year.

I was pulling for the Kansas City Royals, so I really couldn’t care less. But out of respect for my love and appreciation for the game of baseball, I will at least “tip my hat” to the team from California.

I hate California…always will!

We are quickly approaching the holiday where everyone sits around and eats way too much. Then we take a nap and watch a little television and…eat way too much, again!

We are about to celebrate the holiday better known as…”Thanksgiving”.

I have always loved Thanksgiving.

I can remember, growing up in Chicago, we would get out of school at noon on Wednesday. So we had Wednesday afternoon, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday off! It was GREAT!

My mother, God rest her soul, always cooked a HUGE meal for our family every Thanksgiving.

We had the whole works! Turkey, dressing…(the kind with chopped up hard boiled eggs in it)…sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, rolls, cranberry salad and the best homemade pumpkin pie you ever did eat!!  MMMM…MMMM!!!

I have always loved Thanksgiving!

We could sleep in on Thursday morning and wake up only to head downstairs and watch television. Cartoons or football seemed to be the “programming” for the day.

I don’t ever remember eating breakfast the morning of Thanksgiving.

By the time I got out of bed, it was not but a couple hours until the big meal of the day would be served.

One other thing stands out in my mind about the Thanksgiving meal. My dad was the ONLY one that could carve the Turkey.

There were many years we had other family members over for Thanksgiving.

There were many years we had members of the church congregation over for Thanksgiving.

But one thing stayed “constant” year, after year, after year at Thanksgiving. NOBODY else laid a hand on that big ole bird except my father!

If there were ever an award to be given out for who did the best job at carving the turkey on Thanksgiving, my father would have been the winner on multiple occasions!!

He knew just how to cut up that turkey so that every single piece of meat would be used up and there would be NO waste whatsoever.

Me personally…I always, and still do, prefer the white meat to the dark. Don’t ask me why. I have no real reason. It just “looks” better, I guess.

I have ALWAYS loved Thanksgiving!

Well…I have always loved Thanksgiving…until almost 4 years ago. After that, I really couldn’t care less if I ever celebrate another Thanksgiving the rest of my life.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE the true meaning of the holiday itself. “Giving Thanks”. That is what it is all about anyhow. I have a lot to be thankful for. We all do.

For that part of the holiday, I am happy to see that day come around.

However, when it comes to sitting down and enjoying a meal of all the aforementioned foods that appear on the dining room table and the laughter and eating until you feel like you can explode…I have no desire to celebrate Thanksgiving ever again.

You see, Thanksgiving of 2010, I had the very last meal with my mom that I would ever have again.

Let me share with you my story.

My mom was a patient/resident at Signature Healthcare Center in Cleveland, TN. She could not leave the nursing home due to her condition of Alzheimer’s/Dementia.

It was Thanksgiving Day. My aunt Vie, mom’s sister, and my cousin Sheri were both in town. Sheri and Aunt Vie had fixed a huge Thanksgiving meal at my mom and dad’s house that morning. They were all going to eat around noon that day.

I had other plans than eating with them.

I wanted them to bring two plates of food to the nursing home that day so that my mother and I could have our Thanksgiving meal in her room.

My mom was having a really good day that particular Thanksgiving. She was feeling good and she was in really good spirits. I wanted to be with her. I wanted to share a “Thanksgiving Dinner” with my mom on that day.

We had an incredible time…just the two of us. Sheri and Aunt Vie brought over Turkey, dressing (again, the kind with hard boiled eggs chopped up inside), sweet potato casserole, rolls, green beans, deviled eggs like only my Aunt Vie can make and two different kinds of pie that day.

The meal was INCREDIBLE!! The company I had for lunch that day was even GREATER!!

I was sharing Thanksgiving with my mom…and it was AWESOME.

Then, the very next day, my mom took a turn for the worse.

She would go to bed on Thanksgiving night of 2010 and never get up again.

She would only tell us that she was not feeling well and she mostly slept a lot. She seemed very weak and would only continue to get weaker as the next several days and couple of weeks approached.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, my dad and I went to see the SEC Championship football game in Atlanta. The Auburn Tigers were playing that year. We both wanted to go see Cam Newton play a game during his final season, before he went pro.

We went by the nursing home that morning and my mom was totally not herself. I can fully remember leaving there that day telling my dad…something is wrong with mom. She is failing fast.

It was two weeks later, December 14, 2010 at 4:56 a.m. that my mom would take her final breath on earth and her first breath in Heaven.

Just two short weeks after having one of the best times with my mom, sharing Thanksgiving dinner together, she would depart this world…and join her family and friends that had gone on before her.

So you see, Thanksgiving just does not mean that much to me anymore. As a matter of fact, I try my best to “avoid” doing anything that day. I would rather stay at home, by myself, and just fix a hot dog or hamburger on the grill and watch a little football or a re-run of Imus in the Morning Show.

I can only imagine the feast that my mom has in Heaven this year on Thanksgiving.

I would imagine there would be the most incredible turkey dinner with all the fixins!

I just wonder one thing. The dressing with the Turkey… is it the kind with hard boiled eggs chopped up inside?? I sure hope so. My mom loved that kind.

If there is a kitchen in Heaven, my mom will be there Thanksgiving morning.

Just one thing. They need to find someone else to carve the Turkey. I am not letting my dad go for many, many years!!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

Until next time…

About Mark Grissom

Mark was born on the north side of Chicago in 1964. Raised a Cubs fan by his dad, he never had a chance in life. He moved to Cleveland, Tennessee, in 1988. While he lives closer to Atlanta now, he will never be able to leave the religion of "Cubbie Nation." Baptized as a Cubs fan at the age of five, he has no choice but to live the remainder of his life here on earth in mediocrity at its best!

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