Tuesday, December 01, 2015

THANKSGIVING - WHAT DO I HAVE TO BE THANKFUL FOR?

A version of this post was originally published in Pathfinder: A Companion Guide for the Widow/er’s Journey
Holiday time begins with Thanksgiving. It should be mandatory for first and second year widows/ers to shout out “What do I have to be thankful for?” Go ahead. Embrace your bitterness!
While Aunts and cousins are taking turns announcing they are thankful for their husband’s promotion or for their gorgeous new home it is the perfect time to broadcast that your husband has also changed addresses. He now lives with God, a more loving roommate than you were, but not as sexy.
Loved ones never touched by tragedy will insist you have both drumsticks and all the peach pie you can eat. Enjoy because by year three your celebratory spirit will most likely kick back in. The yams with marshmallows will taste almost as sweet as when your family was in tact.
If you’re dating now and you ask the host to bring your new plus one for Thanksgiving dinner just know that this year you’ll have to concede the drumstick to Aunt Edna. Her husband died in August. She's on the front lines. You're a vet, now. And, anyway, your widow card has expired.
Even though nine Thanksgivings have passed since my husband Jimmy has, holidays spark my memories. A turkey on a platter reminds me of the year my husband proudly trotted out the turkey and in full view of everyone seated and salivating, the bird slid off the platter and splattered all over the dining room floor.
My husband picked up the turkey, put him back on the platter and on the way back to the kitchen announced, “I’ll just bring out the other turkey.” Naturally, the ‘second’ turkey was presented to the crowd already sliced. Nice job, hubby.
We tend to eat extra and with greater gusto starting on Thanksgiving and continuing straight through New Year’s. But, hold on here! We lost our spouse. Aren’t we entitled to wolf down 14 potato latkes? And, when Uncle George brings the kids a chocolate turkey so big it’s practically clucking, we have a responsibility to teach them to share, don’t we? After all, we’re the Last Grandparent Standing!
Stuffing our faces is our way of saying we are doing our best to keep up the holiday spirit. Since some of us are back on the market, though, we may resist putting on the pounds. A study from the doctors at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical center has discovered that the music we listen to while we eat may affect the weight we might gain.
They measured the energy expenditure of 20 infants born preterm while listening to Mozart in their incubator. The findings showed Mozart lowered by at least 10% the quantity of energy they used. This means the babies may have been able to increase their weight faster.
This screams out: Do not listen to Mozart! You may be in danger of looking like the ‘before’ photo. Turn on “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” even if it depresses you!
So, go ahead and have that fifth glass of eggnog. Just be sure that when you lift your glass to make a toast the background music is lowbrow, like Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer. By the way, I used to think that song was funny…until I became a Grandma.