Reflecting Pool

Of Course

By Marsha Howland
November 18, 2020

For the second time in my life, I’ll be alone on Thanksgiving Day.

The first time was because of snow. Not a terrible storm, but more than enough snow to make a long drive on 84 and the Mass Pike too much of a risk.

I wasn’t prepared to have Thanksgiving dinner at my home. There was no turkey to roast, no potatoes to mash, no stuffing to stuff. None of the other side dishes that I love. I have no memory of what I had for the big dinner that day, but I’m sure it wasn’t traditional.

This year, I’ll miss my annual Thanksgiving visit with my brother Ron, sister-in-law Ellen and their family, including my ever-delightful grandniece, four-year-old Audrey, because of Covid-19. It’s very sad and very disappointing. But I know that in being alone, I’m not alone. Many people are changing their plans to help avoid spreading the virus.

This time, I am prepared. I know what I’ll order from Highland Park Market (smallish portions of turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes and so on), and I’ll have a light breakfast. (I will not, however, stuff myself at dinner.)

I’ll watch a movie – which I haven’t yet chosen – and, most important, FaceTime or Zoom with my family after dinner. It’s not the same as being there, but it’s something.

(I also have a chance to visit with everyone on the Saturday or Sunday after the holiday. It depends on how we’re all doing and what’s going on in the world around us. So it’s just a chance, but I’m self-quarantining just in case.)

So, will traditional dishes from my favorite grocery store, a movie and a virtual visit with my family, make it a real Thanksgiving?

Of course.

The point of Thanksgiving is giving thanks – richly, deeply and joyfully. Being grateful. And I am.

I have a wonderful, loving family, which includes my other brother, Rick, and sister-in-law Linda; five nephews, two nieces, four grandnephews and two grandnieces. I treasure my very caring friends, including my best friend Elaine, who I’ve known for 57 years. I’m in a writing group (which meets now via Zoom) with creative, giving people. And I love the community at UUS:E, where loving connection, support for others, and living the Seven Principles bring us together.

In terms of material things, I have the resources to live in a lovely home; feed myself, my two cats and the birds at the feeder off the deck; own electronics that keep me in touch with the world; tend to the ten-year-old car, and so much more.

I won’t be with my family on Thanksgiving Day.

But I will give thanks for everything I have.

I am grateful.

And I am blessed.


For a welcome and instructions on submitting original writing to Reflecting Pool, click here.