November 23, 2007


Today (Friday) is Thanksgiving in the US (Thursday). Darren and I aren’t big fans of the holiday, as we think it glosses over the real history between the pilgrims and the Native Americans. Still, it is a day I always looked forward to spending with my family and also turns out be a significant marker of time.

For the past several years – at least 12 now – family has meant: my brother Kevin, his wife Maurya, Maurya’s brother Wes and sister Barb, and Barb’s husband Tom. The six of us got together for Thanksgiving every year (that I was in the country) and shared the day together. Sometimes we would all converge into Maryland at Kevin and Maurya’s house, other times we’d go to Virginia to Barb and Tom’s house. I usually had some crazy dating/break-up story to tell (until Darren, of course!), Kevin would always control the cooking – even if we weren’t in his house – and the boys would inevitably end up watching football.

Three years ago I was on vacation here in New Zealand, and two years ago Darren and I announced after Thanksgiving dinner that we were thinking of moving to Wellington. Last Thanksgiving was our last holiday with the family all together before our move here just one week later.

Last year was also significant because Tom had had some unsettling medical tests. His doctors weren’t quite sure what was happening with his liver, but none of us even dared to think of that horrible word: cancer. But it did turn out to be cancer, which was followed by chemo and biopsies and lots and lots of fear and worry. And then a woman died and generously donated her organs – gifting Tom with a new liver. A year since those first unsettling tests, he is 10 weeks into his transplant with no rejection. It’s been a crazy year for Barb and Tom, and while we all worry and care (and Kev/Maur are close enough to help out), only Barb and Tom live with it every minute of every day.

I don’t miss the US for the most part, and I certainly don’t miss the commercialism of Thanksgiving and what the holiday theoretically stands for. I do, though, miss the family getting together and catching up, laughing and eating really yummy food. So many families do the holiday dinners out of obligation, but I always enjoyed getting together with the family. I have been looking forward to my phone call home today since…well earlier this week when I remembered Thanksgiving was coming up. =) Wes wasn’t there this year either, since he moved out to Las Vegas not too long ago. I’m sure we’ll all figure out how to make the distances smaller in time, and maybe one of these years we’ll all be in one place again.

Until then, we miss you guys and we love you!

1 comment:

Marrisa said...

Awww thats lovely, its so hard being without our loved ones. Its so so so hard. I feel for you, as we miss our get togethers too. x