top of page
  • Writer's pictureerinwalter

How many more Thanksgivings?

As I woke up to the cool, crisp, fresh air this morning, I reflected on all the Thanksgiving‘s past. I could remember some with a massive smile to other ones that were some what of a blur and yet there are others I just can't recall.

This Thanksgiving feels different. The last three have definitely changed in shape and size as well as in meaning as my life has changed dramatically. I reflect on what does Thanksgiving truly mean to me and to all the people around me.

It’s about creating those special moments with the people who you are most close too.

The family traditions; whether it's a multi generational gathering or is it only a party of a few.

Do you have rituals and/or routines that are expected every Thanksgiving regardless if you enjoy them or not?

Do you dread attending multiple dinners or avoid certain relatives or invited guests?

Is this year different because you are grieving a family member?

Families are complicated and complex, then put them all in a same house, well something is bound to happen.

Growing up in the Ottawa Valley, Thanksgiving dinners were large and loud. I do not recall what the adults thought but my whole mission was to graduate from the children's table to the adult table.

I couldn’t wait to sit beside my aunts and uncles and hear the conversation the children were not allow to participate in. I was the oldest grandchild and honestly, I just wanted to experience the conversations that went on at this adult table.

Our Thanksgiving dinners were filled with copious amounts of food. From the mashed potatoes to the suspended fruit and Jell-O, my Grandmother's homemade pies and of course tomato juice was always found at the adult table. Why, I had no cue.

The laughter amongst my mother's siblings was infectious. Of course the brother in laws were either watching football or laughing at some inside obnoxious joke.

As a kid I wanted to desperately be part of those discussions. Everyone was talking, sometimes all at once and yet everyone was heard. I grew up in a newspaper family so politics, community, world news as well as local gossip were all discussed.

Thanksgiving was a coming together, breaking of bread and leaning into bold topics with just more people at the table.

Maybe that is why I am so curious with people. I was drawn to this profession of counselling because it was bigger than me and it was being curious about the other person.

As I reflect upon this Thanksgiving not only is it about those courageous conversations around the dining room table, its about how many more conversations would I have with these relatives?

I heard in a podcast I think around a year ago and the question wasn’t about how many years left we had with our loved ones but it was about how many visits do we have left with them?

So think about it, if you see your parents only one or two times a year and they may live another 10 years that’s only 20 more visits.

What about if it’s a sibling that lives in another part of the country, is it a friend or an uncle or aunt, a neighbour... how many times a year do you visit these people because it’s not about the number of years they have left, it's about the number of connections and visits you have left with them. That I whole different story.

I want you to really think hard important is it for you to see these people in your life?

Is it a priority?

If you flip your mind to rethink may just stop making excuses of being too busy and visit that person.

This long weekend is about gratitude, being so thankful that we can all come together.

Lean in to those conversations and give the warmest embraces to your loved ones.

Also take also a moment of pause to remember and share the memories of the ones who are not here with us this year.

Whether they died in the past recent months or they have been gone for several years, share their stories, their legacies and the lessons so that the future generations can learn because when the stories die so do loved ones.

Sending much gratitude this Thanksgiving to you and yours, from the bottom of my heart.


43 views0 comments


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page