Thanksgiving Memories: Thanks for Sharing!


Connecting with our loved ones is a very significant part of Thanksgiving. Here are some stories of connection that I wanted to share with you.

Everyone’s Grandpop

At a funeral recently, for my friend’s father, this story was told. For most of their lives, the kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids each received a daily call from this man. One of the grandkids remembers that at college in a time when the phones were attached to the wall in the common area, each night when his Grandpop called, every one of the college boys on the floor would stop everything, even partying, to talk to Grandpop.

Not Everyone Has iPods

One friend shared that when his son was young they were at a Lions game after attending the Thanksgiving Day Parade. His son wanted an iPod that had just been released on the market. He told his dad that everyone had one. The dad had noticed that in front of them was a group of kids from a group home. No parents just caregivers. He pulled his son aside and explained to him that not only don’t those kids have iPods, but they also don’t have parents. The son was speechless at first. He didn’t understand how that could be. He began asking questions about where their parents were.  Who watched them? Who helped them with homework? Who cuddled them at night? Both he and his son wanted to take all those kids home that night.

Don’t Forget the Jell-O

My mom was famous for her elaborate Jell-O molds. They would be layers of brightly colored sweetness about a foot tall. She spent days making each unique layer. One layer had chopped strawberries in a strawberry gel, one layer had whipped cream beat into it, one layer had chopped up apples and celery. But the most elaborate layer took 4 trays of different colored Jell-O which she made into cubes that she tossed into a creamy white Jell-O base. It was my favorite layer and it looked like jewels. So much time and so much effort. She loved the ooohs and ahhhs she received from presenting this masterpiece…when she could remember to take it out of the refrigerator! Year after year she would take all that time to make it and would consistently forget to serve it. Year after year I would get a bowl of jello in my lunch for days after Thanksgiving had come and gone.

Main Ingredient…Love

When my mom was alive, she would make me an almond coffee cake every Thanksgiving. I’d yank it out in the morning and eat most of it with my coffee while watching the Detroit parade. I can still smell its nutty goodness, I can see the flaky layers, and I miss it every year. ~Sue B.

A “Last” Something

Last year was a special Thanksgiving, it was the first one I got to host (cus’ you know I love to host big dinners), and opened our doors to a varied bunch. Among them was my Aunt and Uncle, for whom I would be a bone marrow donor the next month. We never know when will be our ‘last’ something, and I cherished that night and so many other moments of the year. ~Alana A.

Hiking in LA

My favorite Thanksgivings -3 years in a row flying out to LA with my uncle to be with my cousin. We hiked Thanksgiving morning and went to a nice dinner out later in the day. ~Michele R.

My Sister’s Memory

The fights for the biggest piece of mom’s chocolate pie! Or the time we brought Olivia, our cat, for Thanksgiving and all the people spooked her and someone opened the door and she ran! It broke my heart but we had to return to Florida without our sweet girl! Almost a month later, I got a call from my mom but she wasn’t talking to me, she was talking to my dad and I could hear her say, “Open the door, Nat, coax her in!” I was screaming and crying I was so happy, and finally, mom said, “Oh Debbie, I forgot you were there, Olivia came back!” You took her to the vet and apparently she was under the porch, skinny but well! By the time we could get back to Michigan you and mom were so attached you would not give her back! ~Dev F.

Slow-Cooked

Once our power went out and my mom’s oven was lit by an electric start, so she cooked the turkey on the top of her kerosene space heater (this was in the ’80s). The turkey was great….slow cooked. ~Jennifer V.

Tiny Chefs

Every year for Thanksgiving, since my children were little, they were asked to make either a side dish or dessert to serve for dinner. They shopped for the ingredients and prepared the entire dish. Each dish is made with love and we reminisce on the dishes they make every year. It’s my favorite holiday. ~Hope B.

Israeli’s in PJs

Moving here, as Israeli, we didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. When Roi got to kindergarten, he had an assignment to tell about the holiday tradition. As a Jewish mom, I decided that there is no way my son will go back to school with no family tradition, so we decided to go for the whole nine yards! Cooking, guests, and we added wearing pajamas all day (including at dinner time). ~Yifat G.

A Thanksgiving Surprise

Many, many, years ago, I took my boyfriend (later to be my husband) home to meet my family for Thanksgiving. We said nothing about how serious the relationship was. However, my developmentally challenged brother stood up and offered up a toast to my boyfriend saying “congratulations Mark, you marry my sister”. The room was then filled with silence as my mother left the room and my father tried to fade under the table. It is a priceless memory!

It Wouldn’t be a Michigan Thanksgiving without the Lions

I loved waking up early and preparing the turkey while watching the Parade on TV. One year we went to the Parade and the kids loved it! ~Judy S.
The Lions game with my dad at the Pontiac Silverdome. ~Deanne O.
We went one year, the shuttle from the parking garage said ‘Loins’ and we felt it summed everything up.    ~Alana A.

A Linus Prayer

One year my godmother let me read Linus’ soliloquy as our prayer. Watch it here. ~Gayle N.

I hope you all get to appreciate the loved ones around you, that you are making memories that you will cherish forever, and that you know how much I appreciate each and every one of you.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Dr. Stacey


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