These are Thanksgiving dinner 'leftovers' - the snippets of new memories added to my personal blessing cup. They each are just droplets, yet added together with others hidden deep in the heart, add up to a cup quite overflowing.
I'm ever aware of the fact that as a family we are exceedingly blessed. As we anticipate a family gathering, there is no dread, no fears regarding tensions or unpleasantness that may arise. Fact is, we enjoy each other. There is always much noise but it is the sound of laughter and delight. Sometimes there are the quieter notes of talk on serious subjects. Even there, where there might be disagreement there is no fear of anger or reprisal.
This year there was some doubt as to our even having a family gathering. Yet, in Mercy, the weather changed enough to clear the roads for safe travel. We all were most grateful for this.
Now for some personal, specific drops of joy:
- a table set in readiness with candles aglow
- daughters that busied themselves in the kitchen with food fixing
- a grand son who ably and without a word took on the carving of Big Bird
- the family anthem of the Doxology sounding full of harmony and glorious.
- [here there is one of those bitter-ish drops - there have been occasions of grief where Doxology singing was a part. These will forever come to mind when we gather and lift our voices]
- happy, noisy chatter/clatter of cutlery and conversation
- and baby noises. What a glorious dimension these add to our gathering, any gathering.
- the hilarious tradition of individual introductions of pseudonyms and professions for the day
- at meal's end, three generations of menfolk - to a man - standing without a word and clearing and washing up.
- delightful guests joining our ranks this year. Lovely indeed
- home for dessert and much conversation -some collective, much choice and individual
- and baby-passing, snuggling, enjoying
- Wee Lad playing happily with what he knows are the allowed things - sitting reading his books, playing with Noah's Ark, enjoying his basket of rocks, drawing with Grand-Nan's colored pencils.
- enjoying the after glow when all had returned to their homes.
- finding remnants of the day - a partial banana on the piano top, two wooden sheep in the Cloister chair, rocks in the corners of the sofa.
- [another taste of the bitter: those who were absent from our table..because of geography, because of work demands, because of Translation to a more glorious place.
This list may now seem that grand and great, but you see, Dear Reader, for me, each entry has a face attached, the sound of a beloved voice and a radiance inexplicable. With all those family members dear, and with our four littlest ones, our day was spent in the presence of angels. Angels always hover where babies dwell.
The tummies were filled. And so was and is the heart. Such blessings are mine. I take none for granted.
Whether bitter or sweet, all have come from my loving Heavenly Father's hand. Of this I am certain. In this I rejoice.