“Never lose hope. Storms make people stronger and never last forever.” — Martin Luther King Jr
I have such great memories of Thanksgiving. Always filled with food, and all of us packed into my grandparent’s home and later into my aunt’s home. It started when my parents divorced. We lived in my grandparent’s house until my mother and uncle moved into a place not far away. Later my mother would move us miles away, and that meant after our dinner, we would drive to my grandparents. We would start eating again—cake and pies at my aunt’s home. You see, my grandfather had acres of land, and my aunts had homes on that land. So, they all were within walking distance. We were and still are a close multigenerational family because my grandparents had ten children- my aunts and uncles. That meant so many cousins. COVID-19 meant the cancellation of our Giddens-Arrington Family Reunion.
So, my mother spent Thanksgiving with my sister. There are four of us. One sister and her husband got up early and brought Thanksgiving dinner to his mother and mine. My mother also was cooking. My younger sister and her husband stayed home and grilled steaks while their son, my 12-year-old 5’9, 170 lb. nephew, was having chicken. My mother says one aunt is in Georgia with her son, and he forbade the rest of his siblings to come. My uncle is back home in Indianapolis, and my one aunt was cooking, but her daughter was picking up food. My sister, who cooked and delivered food, was back home and settled in.
My mother refused to go back home with my sister. She wants to be safe. She says that all the churches are closed. My aunt’s minister said he would remain virtual because he does not want to preach any unnecessary funerals. He is a chaplain at one of the hospitals.
We are not traveling. Not going to Baltimore and canceled our trip for our vacation. My husband’s cousin usually makes a fantastic dinner, and we have been going there for years. There will be just the three of us for Turkey dinner. This pandemic has changed how my family is celebrating. We will not be traveling for Christmas; I am working that week. This isolation is so hard for all of us, but I think it is tough on my family. We can turn any day into a family reunion. Our goal is to keep everyone safe for when we can have our reunion in Birmingham. We must protect those we cherish.
Stay safe. Wear a mask.
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” — Maya Angelou