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A Thanksgiving Story: What Does Grandma Do For Thanksgiving?

I wrote this story this morning, it’s a first draft. I wrote it because I heard my chiropractor telling one of his patients over and over again not to do any work for Thanksgiving. I thought that people who are older, or people who are sick this Thanksgiving, or people with disabilities, could use a reminder of the gifts they truly bring to the table.

_______________________________________

What Does Grandma Do For Thanksgiving?

Mommy said not to ask Grandma for anything today.
Since Grandma fell last week, her bones are hurting
and it is hard for her to walk.

“Rest” the doctor said. “No helping whatsoever this holiday.”
My teacher gave us a new notebook for us to observe things with.
I decided to try it out on Grandma.
If she does too much work, maybe we can show it to her doctor.

8am – Mommy is trying to set the dining room table.
Grandma says, “At least let me take out the silverware for you.”
This is not a good start for the day. Mommy says,
“No. Standing is not easy for you. The doctor said no work for you.”
Grandma sinks away to play blocks with my little brother,
who Mommy had sent to the den to stay out of the way.

9am – Mommy is looking frantically through her cookbooks.
She lost the recipe for green bean casserole.
All of the sudden, she goes to find Grandma in the den,
“Mother, do you remember
if I use one can of mushroom soup, or two?” Grandma knows.

10am – Three relatives call one, two, three on the phone.
“Grrrrrrr…” Mommy says,
since she is trying to check off the list of what to make.
Grandma takes the phonecalls. They are kind of asking for directions.
But, Grandma says they also wanted to see what was going on.
Grandma gives them a report on what mommy’s cooking
and how beautiful the place settings look.

10:30am – Daddy comes in and tries to stick his finger in the brown and orange icing
on the cake mommy baked.
Grandma says, “Tschhh…tschhh,” and brushes his hand away.

12:00 noon –  I think Grandma is proud of Mommy.
She watches her for a long time with a sad kind of smile on her face.
Then, Grandma takes out a photo album and goes to her bedroom.
I know how hard it feels for Grandma to do no work.
So, I sit next to her for awhile and let her tell me stories about when she was a little girl.

12:30pm – Grandma reminds Mommy that even though
we will be having a feast at around 4pm,
she should probably feed the children some lunch.
But, Mommy brings everything to the kitchen table herself.
“No helping, Mother,” she tells Grandma.

1:30pm – Time to peel the potatoes. “No, Mother. Sitting in that hard chair
and bending over is not good for you either.
Please, can’t you try for just one day to rest. You really deserve it, you know.”
Grandma goes to her bedroom to lay down.
My brother curls up next to her. But, I am too big to take a nap.

3:00pm – There is a buzz of excitement in the air. Any minute, an early guest could arrive.
Mommy needs to take her shower.
Grandma and my brother and me wait in the living room in case we have to entertain.

3:30pm – The doorbell rings. Aunt Krissy and Uncle Dennis are so happy to see Grandma.
But, they have been warned, too.
So, no, they won’t let her be the ones to take their coats to the back bedroom.

4:00pm – There is a whole crowd of relatives all gathered around the living room.
Somehow, everyone seems to be turned towards Grandma, in the fancy, green chair.
She knows a funny story about everyone in the room.

4:30pm – Finally, Mommy and Daddy have everything ready. They call everyone to the table.
Cousin Joe holds Grandma’s elbow and guides her across the room.
He is a teenager, and doesn’t always come to family dinners, anymore.
But, his parents told him that Grandma might need help.

Everyone gets kind of quiet.
We are all amazed at the dishes filled with different colored foods.
Lots of orange vegetables. Little sprigs of green to decorate the special dishes with.
A funny looking half circle of Tofurkey that Mommy made
for the cousins who are vegetarians. And, any dish you could ever imagine wanting.

Grandma says the grace. It is kind of a prayer, but kind of just a saying,
because some of the cousins have married people who believe different things.
Grandma’s list of things to be thankful for includes some things that have come and gone,
but she is glad to have had them, like her old house on Hyacinth Lane.

I finish my report. I think Grandma did a pretty good job.
No carrying, no cooking, not even any stirring.
But, I am not sure if you count saying grace as work.
So, I hope she won’t get in trouble if Mommy does bring my report to her doctor.

________________________________________

(c) 2009 Kimberly Wilder

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