Surely, turkeys play a large role in Thanksgiving. Mine will be donated to the food bank and we will have a vegetarian feast.
But most important are the family and friend reunions at holiday time. I am often surprised when I see people I haven't seen for a while. How did they age so much? Have I as well? I guess so, but I recognize the process in others more than I do in myself. That's normal. The changes in ourselves occur gradually over time, just as the changes occur in the people we see every day, slowly. Often we don't see the changes at all. So if you are visiting your parents or older adults, please look carefully.Gauge how they are dealing with life. What is their mood like? How has their behavior changed? Are they more mellow, easier to get along with or cantankerous and moody? Do they need assistance with the tasks of daily living they didn't need last year? Life is good when we can be with family members we love and can care for.
Have the conversation. Which one? The end-of-life one. What do your parents, aunts, uncles, friends, siblings want for themselves as they age and when they die? If you will be responsible, you need to know what they want you to do.
I will be reconnecting this week with folks I have known for 15 years. For ten years or more, the group met every six weeks for a Shabbat dinner in someone's home. We each brought part of the meals.Of the thirteen who were part of the group when we joined it, six will be present. One couple is out of town, which leaves five to be accounted for. One woman retired and moved out of state to live with her daughter and granddaughters. One woman died a few years ago and two men died this summer, including my husband. And one woman moved to an assisted livng home because she has dementia. We will rejoice at being together and by rememberiing the ones who are no longer with us.We'll drink a toast, but it will most likely be grape juice! Life is good when we can be together with friends.