Thanksgiving was always a hectic time for my little family unit, mainly because I worked for newspapers and deadlines became hectic before the holidays. Usually, Thursday was my only day off, which meant massive cooking Wednesday evening, rushing to Mom’s for Thanksgiving, then heading home with exhausted children in tow to begin a full workday on Friday. My husband worked in retail, so you know where he was first thing Friday morning.
But my mom loved Thanksgiving and always looked forward to having our entire, ever-growing family under her roof for one full day. Over the years, the group photos evolved from babies and toddlers to grandkids heading off to college. And our extended family never missed the importance of the American holiday: to give thanks.
In my mother’s later years, my husband and I became the host, serving up turkey, green bean casseroles, and pecan pie to my parents, my visiting siblings, and occasionally a friend whose family lived elsewhere. I even inherited Mom’s miniature turkeys and pumpkins.
We lost my mom at the beginning of 2020’s lockdown, and this Thanksgiving my family will finally meet to give her a proper service. She deserved a more elaborate send-off, but in a way the timing couldn’t be better, for we’ll give thanks for the years we had with an exceptional woman on the day she loved most.
We offer stories of other exceptional people doing remarkable things in our annual “Making a Difference” issue, including Army Ranger Jon Jackson of Milledgeville, Georgia, helping veterans struggling with PSTD and the DeSoto County Dream Center’s incredible work in the community. And to get you excited about what’s to come, our holiday home tours story lists some of the best — and brightest — historic homes open for the season, many of which have returned after being dark last year.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone, from our family to yours.