The number of travelers for this Thanksgiving holiday indicates that many Americans refuse to observe the COVID-19 guidelines recommending that we all stay home. Those of us who will stay home will not change our minds or plans. But what we can do is think of the many Thanksgiving memories that we have already accumulated, savoring them instead of feeling sorry for ourselves that we won’t create new ones this year.

For me it’s easy to remember huge family gatherings with parents, brothers, aunts, uncles, and copious cousins. The tone was celebratory, the decibel level was huge and we felt happy and secure in a traditional holiday setting. Food that was available was generally twice what that large conglomerate could consume. Consequently, no-one watched how much we ate, how many servings we inhaled, and what foods we chose not to consume. It’s also sumptuous meals with my wonderful daughter and son, grandchildren, and extended family.

I cannot help but treasure those memories. All of my aunts and uncles (and several of my cousins) are gone, my parents and brothers have passed and there is virtually nothing left of that and other family events. But because I can remember so much so clearly, I suggest that those who are feeling sadness about separation from family members also participate in memory-savoring.

No-one asked for this virus, no-one wants to have internet gatherings rather than real ones, and many of us simply cannot rejoin those people who meant so much to us. If you have escaped the clutches of this horrible virus, celebrate that. If you have family members whom you will join for future holidays, treasure that. While looking backward is frequently not my recommendation, this is an exception.

Be happy for what you have today and plan to have tomorrow. Perhaps the separation that you suffer for this year will make all the rest of your Thanksgiving holidays that much sweeter. Happy Thanksgiving! Shalom.

2 thoughts on “Happy Thanksgiving!

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