This Thanksgiving, I got to enjoy extended time with family. The strange and beautiful thing about family is you can be yourself, let your true colors shine, and just process life in its rawness and for the most part, your family will just accept this as you, as normal. On Thursday, after we had eaten a small feast, we all went in our separate directions. Literally, we parted like the Red Sea. The younger folk took the basement, the Aunt and Uncle took a rest, Grandma took the couch, I went to the hotel, and mom went to do some errands. And you know what? We were all pretty content to be apart for awhile and catch some winks while we digested our turkey and cream laden sweet potatoes.
Then in the early evening hours, some of us went on a walk through an enchanted forest. Yes, enchanted. It was wonderful. We had delightful conversation and walked for what felt like 10 minutes even though we were out for over an hour. As we returned, we felt our stomachs making way for something a bit more. Mom made a delicious pizza dip that we enjoyed with chips and bread. We also had some slivers of cheesecake. A surprising combination of deliciousness!
And as we sat around the table, we shared stories of Grandpa Friesen. His life, his last moments, his wit, his faith. And as we told these stories and heard new ones, we all understood something more about our heritage, our identity. I looked over at my Uncle during this reminiscing time; tears were forming in the back of us eyes as we laughed and shared. I looked at my Grandma who listened with pride to hear stories from her husband's life. And I wouldn't trade this Thanksgiving for anything.
And then, we all played a silly game of Time's Up where we all had to act a bit ridiculous.
And the next day, on the drive home, I felt tired and sentimental all at the same time. Sometimes when I get to feeling this way, I don't want to talk to anyone; I just want to be alone with my thoughts. So I drove and tuned out the world with my ipod. The South Dakota highway passed quickly under our tires, and before I had time to even start reflecting on the meaning of the week-end, we were home. And of course, no sooner than the four of us had eaten supper, did we part again. Dad and I went to a concert at church, and mom and Shane watched TV upstairs. But like I mentioned earlier, there is such a peace and understanding when you're hanging out with family. You don't have to pretend to like this or enjoy that. You just are, and you know that if you are different, it's beautiful and interesting. And I'm so thankful for that this Thanksgiving!