Aging Parents~Thanksgiving: A Day to Give Thanks with Family and Friends plus…..

…..a Creative Way for Remembering Loved Ones

Again this Thanksgiving, tradition will meld with warmth and thankfulness as family and dear friends gather at our home. Like many families, our Thanksgiving is multi-generational. We span a century–the oldest is R at 101; the youngest not yet a year old. Also like many families, family and friends who once joined us for Thanksgiving dinner are no longer with us; they have died. Others now occupy their place at the table, but they do not take their place.

As I began setting the table the first Thanksgiving after Mom died, I got out the plastic bag that contains the place cards from Thanksgivings past. I was feeling sentimental. The wish to have Mom with us or at least honor her memory was there; yet I couldn’t figure out what to do without dampening the mood.

I was gingerly removing the place cards I always save. They were actually dried leaves with people’ names written in white ink–a creative Idea, learned from a Martha Steward demonstration decades before. The leaf with Mother’s name surfaced. So did the leaf with the name of the ex-husband of one of my best friend’s daughter. The latter leaf fell apart as I tossed it into the recycle. I delicately held mother’s. Then the memorial idea surfaced. Why not add it to the centerpiece.

Since then–13 years now–mother’s leaf has been integral to the centerpiece. I’ve since added the leaf of one of my best friends, of her mother, and my Dad’s leaf. I turn them upside down, the name doesn’t show, so they blend in in a natural way. We all know they’re there. That’s what counts.

“Friends are Family We Get to Choose”
Wishing you and your family Happy Thanksgiving

     Note: Fallen, dry autumn leaves and a white pen are all that’s needed for the place cards

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