A baby lives with us now, which means that I get less sleeping time. Less sleeping time, though, means more thinking time, and that feels like a fair trade. Today, I’ve been thinking about how we gather.
My parents are divorced, so how we gather, the “we” that gathers, changes each year.
Last year, we joined my step-mom Amy’s family for Thanksgiving in Toledo, Ohio. These photos are from that trip. With guitars, and buckeyes, and elbows on the table is how we gathered there.
With borrowed sweatshirts, a football, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (he’s back!), and three kinds of pie.
Before the meal, we joined hands around the table. Each of us had to say out loud why we were thankful for the person on our left. I like that we gather that way. A person who loves me very much was standing on my right, and when her turn came, she said simply that she was thankful that I was here. I had had my fourth and final surgery five and a half months earlier, a surgery that we hadn’t expected, but that had felt like a finish line, of sorts. That’s why she said it, I know, because my being almost gone, but then here, was still on everyone’s mind. The thing is, it had only just recently stopped being always on my mind, so being thanked for being “here” felt hard. “Is that the bar, for me? Not dead?” I asked Eli before bed that night. I want to be more than just “here.”
We’re staying put in Cambridge this year for Thanksgiving. My mother is with us, and we’re going to my friend Julia’s parents’ house tomorrow. I’m bringing apple cake. Maybe something chocolate, too.
Happy Thanksgiving. See you next week, with soup.