As I mentioned yesterday, we had Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, September 9, 2010. The last time I'd had Thanksgiving dinner with my dad was in 2008 at the rehabilitation facility where he was recovering from septicemia. 2008 was the beginning of a long illness for him, one in which he had many ups and downs. The biggest up was that he and I saw each other more frequently than we had in previous years.
So, since he and his wife and her cousin were all visiting last year, I got all sentimental and decided to have a big turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Everything was homemade, and lots of our food came from the back yard. We invited another couple with whom we were very close at the time. (Six months later we're not speaking. Long story, and I'm still kind of sad about it, but the truth is I had been feeling the fabric of our relationship tearing.)
Last year, though, it was fun having them share our table. Dad was fascinated with their homesteading lifestyle, which was so much like his own childhood on a hardscrabble farm during the Depression. The difference is that he was born into it, while our former friends have made the choice to be as self-sufficient as possible.
I'm so glad we had that dinner. I felt funny about it, but it turned out to be a really good idea. That whole week is one I hope I never forget, and writing about it, the good and the sad, the then and the now, is one way to cement it in my memory.
Dad's wife is being treated for cancer and has been spending time with a new gentleman. Her cousin, a fairly young widow, still lives in Florida and is moving on with her life. Our friends are no longer friends. Some things change.
And some remain the same. I'm still gardening, still fat, still trying to be thinner (not thin, that'll never happen). Still missing my dad.