The Thanksgiving Edge
Updated: Jan 3
The pilgrims were men, women and children.
The native Americans they dined with were also men, women and children.
One of the many things they shared on that day so long ago was the fact that
it was a common thing back then for the children to die.
The children died.
The women (up until the advent of antibiotics after WWII) grew up assuming that the death of a child would be possible, even probable, in their lifetimes.
I didn’t grow up thinking that.
It was a pretty bad slam when my son Chad died.
So damn unexpected.
It wasn’t unexpected for the pilgrims.
Not that it matters now.
The pilgrims are dead. My son is dead.
I cried for hours today. I prayed and I screamed: “I want Chad back!”
I want to hear him walking in the door, with his “surfer mellow” voice saying “hey Mom”. I want to see his unruly hair, and his uber-relaxed clothes, and his feet in flip flops even though it’s chilly outside. I want to hear him laugh at inappropriate things. I want one of his bear hugs. I want to make him pumpkin pie.
Instead, I melted down and lost the day. It's been awhile since that happened. Breathing took effort. During one of the multitude of my crying sessions today, a friend called. He told me to ask God to give Chad the best piece of pumpkin pie in all of heaven at the banquet there this Thursday.
So I did.
And then I thought of the song by Sting so many years ago. The one about the Russians loving their children too.
It may not be Thanksgiving in Russia, but Christmastime is just around the corner (and don’t we grieving mothers know it) and I’m sure there’s a woman over there, like me, crying her eyes out, wishing she could make her son or daughter their favorite yuletide dessert. But she can’t.
And I am just so terribly terribly sorry about that.
To all the grieving mothers and grandmothers on this entire planet, and, especially tonight -
to the grieving families in Waukesha, Wisconsin...
I am so terribly, terribly, sorry.