I looked at Husband #1 and said, “What should this week’s column be about?” He looked back at me and said, “Thanksgiving 2022.” And then he started to laugh.
Yes, I will be writing about Thanksgiving 2022 because, in a way, it was pretty amusing. You will be the judge.
Picture your typical Thanksgiving holiday. The whole family coming together, back to the east coast from all corners of the earth. Brother Bart and his wife, Treena, and their five little rug rats. Timmy just started playing soccer! Tina just lost her first tooth! So much to catch up on after they flew in from Arizona. And then Sister Louisa and her husband, Lou. They drove all the way from Orlando with their three little girls — all, coincidentally, named after Disney princesses. And then the youngest of the clan, Robert. He, of course, is the favorite, and he is now on his third wife, Regina. He has four boys from his first wife, one little girl from his second wife, and Regina, at the ripe old age of 48, is pregnant with triplets! Can you believe?
The whole mishpacha is so excited to be together at the rambling old center hall colonial they grew up in. All the parents and kids woke up Thanksgiving morning to the smell of mom’s famous pancakes and eggs. Dad is brewing coffee and making fresh orange juice after spending the morning outside mowing the lawn and getting it ready for the big family football game that happens before dinner and before watching real football. This year, the turkey was actually shechted at the local synagogue as a fundraiser. And mom and all the daughters and daughters-in-law each baked and made desserts and side dishes for miles. It was going to be the best Thanksgiving ever.
The grandchildren are all getting along, making crafts in mom’s crafts room, to use as centerpieces for the dinner table. The house is filled with delicious smells and lots of laughter. Ahh yes, Thanksgiving. What a special holiday.
But wait, what is happening across the street and 60 miles away at my house? Well, let’s see. Son #1 is in “school/yeshiva” and Dil #1 and Strudel are at home having quality mother-daughter time. Son #2 and Dil #2 are in Israel, where Son #2 is also in “school/yeshiva,” and Son #3 is in “school/yeshiva” in Maryland. My mother was invited to a close friend’s house. The friend has been to my mom’s for many a Friday night dinner and was so happy to reciprocate. My dad, well, I am hoping he was having Thanksgiving with his parents for the first time in almost 20 years, so that is a really nice thought. My sister is in California, babysitting for her granddaughter. My brother is on vacation with his family.
And then there is Husband #1 and me.
To be fair, we were invited to Husband #1’s sister for the holiday, but since we are “team avelut” — mourners — we felt uncomfortable going when there were going to be people there who we aren’t related to. So we decided that Thanksgiving 2022 was going to be the one that really stood out, she wrote facetiously.
Our Thanksgiving was bordering on sad. I kept crying. Husband #1 was watching football. When I wasn’t crying, I was watching Netflix or Amazon or Hulu. When Husband #1 wasn’t watching football, he was in synagogue. When I wasn’t watching television, I was eating. And then we ended off this very festive holiday when I served Husband #1 pizza for dinner. And not even fresh pizza, the frozen pizza that he likes. Because Thursday is pizza night.
I would like to say that I was kidding, but I am not. Truthfully, it was really fine. I know I have said this before, but someone told me that the first everything after you lose someone can prove to be challenging. And since Husband #1 and I are going through most of these firsts together, Thanksgiving was just another one to get through. Honestly, we thought a lot about Thanksgiving 2020. It was covid Thanksgiving and Husband #1’s mom and dad came to us because we had no kids home. We sat six feet apart and served barbecue because my mother-in-law likes hamburgers, and it was a very special meal.
It is always nice to hear when your parents love you and are proud of you, and Husband #1’s parents had the chance to say that to him.
So there you go. Hope you all had meaningful Thanksgivings if that is what works for you.
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck has kidnapped Strudel for the week. She hopes her dil knows how very much she appreciates this time with her and appreciates her dil for allowing her to have this time with her!!!