Wednesday, November 28, 2007

a thursday to remember...

Last Thursday, I had some good moments and some bad moments. We had family over for dinner. I’m not into celebrating thanksgiving. While I think it essential to be thankful for the bounty and blessings associated with my living, this particular holiday marks a remembering of history that has been distorted and unashamedly glorified. The glazing over of the violence that accompanied the arrival of white/european folks on this continent impedes upon recognizing the persistent force of colonization that still permeates the very fabric of—the every move of—the ultimate foundation of u.s. “foreign policy” (year 2007;think iraq). The ensuing genocide of the indigenous peoples of this land now called america is unforgivable and we should not ever forget that it happened and that the mindset of imperialism still lingers everywhere in america.

Nevertheless, my mother likes to be with her children on the holidays. So, this year I thought we could work on combining pieces of our families, and I could make a large dinner to celebrate the harvest of 2007.

We had kk’s grandmothers over (grandma c is 86 and grandma s is 94); her dad and brother; my mama and dad; one of my sisters and her boyfriend; and kk’s aunt a (who came early to hang out with us and help). This is the first holiday minus b (kk’s uncle—her dad’s only brother who was married to aunt a). He succumbed to lymphoma last December. Actually, that was the first holiday without him, but it does not really count. He died 11 days before x-mas which resulted in a blurring of the next many days.

Everything got off to a terribly rocky start. Kk’s family (dad, bro and two g-mas) showed up an hour early. As they walked through the door, I was commanded to turn the Detroit lion’s football game on and kk had just stepped out of the shower so she was no help. I was not into being told what to do in my own house and had been listening to good music, as I cooked, which I then had to turn off. So, I got a little peeved. But better than that wee glitch, is what follows. For some reason, grandma c (86 yrs old) ended up pushing grandma s (94 yrs old) in her wheel chair. K’s brother was outside smoking a cigarette—he was supposed to be in charge of taking care of grandma s. Grandma c ended up pushing grandma s into the coffee table—it plummeted to the ground; a full vase of flowers spilled water everywhere; my little candy dishes, full up of squirrels and mary janes and double bubble, broke all over and the candy got saturated in water. The topper is that I yelled out loud, “jesus fucking christ.” Later I felt horrible for yelling such vulgarities in front of two old ladies, but I think their hearing is a little weak so maybe they heard something else all together.

It took more than forty minutes of me and aunt a handling kk’s family before she finally showed her face. At least her face is beautiful and her heart the kindest I have ever known. Once I was safe in the confines of the shower, (I had yet to take my shower when the early arrivals busted gracelessly through the front door –crashing the living room and filling the air with the nasally sounds of tv announcers explaining the runs, moves, and grunts of oversized men who like to touch one another’s butts in bent over positions) I talked myself out of the explosion that was wavering ever so hot in my head.

I cooked a turkey for all the fowl eaters; I mixed up some gravy; I made some veggie stuffing, brussel sprouts, and veggie French onion soup. My ma brought sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce; my sis brought mashed potatoes; kk’s dad brought green bean casserole; kk’s grandma brought pecan pies and an apple pie; and aunt a made a couple of pumpkin desserts.

No grace at our house instead I read mary oliver’s when death comes
This may seem a little dramatic, but the overall message of the poem is quite profound and I thought we all could use a bit of a wake up call to make of this living the most that we can.

To end the long day, our good friends a and r came over with a’s parents and a sweet visit ensued. It was that mingling of chosen family and blood family that made the day just right.


Zoe the Wonder Dog said...

You cooked a turkey? Really? See, I won't go there... so the flesh-eaters won't come to my house for T-giving. I think of it as a win-win kind of thing.

Amanda said...

That sounds just wonderful, despite all the usual holiday drama. i think that's actually somewhere in the definition of holiday...drama.