Of course Thanksgiving makes me think of the things I am thankful for like my health, my son, my Mother for bringing me into this world…ya know the usual stuff.
It also makes me remember Thanksgivings past..
As a small child it was being dragged unwillingly to my family in Pennsylvania. While there my Uncle proceeded to drink himself into a stupor and yell at everyone for breathing and getting into knock down drag out fist fights with my cousin.
When my Dad decided he wanted to see me I was brought to the country in upstate New York where I could hardly breathe due to allergy induce asthma.
In my teen years it was arguing with my Uncle asking him to speak kindly to people instead of yelling. Thanksgiving with my Dad consisted of more asthma attacks, sneaking dying relatives out of the nursing home and being berated by my father for the decisions I have made and even some I haven’t made yet.
As an adult the Thanksgivings got better because I no longer had to be submitted to the various forms of verbal abuse that came from both sides of my family. They became times for those of us who didn’t have family close by to get together and break bread with no familial drama to destroy the holiday.
Until the Thanksgiving of 2003….my son was 3 months old and his Father was still a raging alcoholic and drug user. We spent Thanksgiving day at his parents house with the baby, he and his dad polished off a whole bottle of Crown Royal before it was time to go home leaving me, of course, to drive, tired with my terribly infected breasts about to burst and a screaming baby in the back seat. All the way home I was hounded by my drunken husband to take him to the bar….Where he really needed to be was home with his wife and son sleeping it off. Arriving home after my final denial to his continued debauchery I proceeded to bring the baby upstairs to relieve my self with a hot compress and feeding. When I came back downstairs my husband was no where to be found. I went into the garage and there was no car, no stroller, no car seat….no way to transport my child should something happen.
After panicking, trying to call him and getting angry I finally fell asleep only to wake up at 8 AM to still no husband. That is when I had had enough…it was time to get his parents involved…. I called them and told them everything…how he spent most of my pregnancy drunk, coked up or hung over; how hung over and useless he was during my labor to the point of falling asleep in my room while I labored to deliver our son; how even after the baby was born he still thought it was ok to go out on a Friday night and not come home until Sunday; how he left me stranded the night before to go out to the bar and drink some more. It wasn’t very long after that when I consulted a divorce attorney and by July of 2004 I was done.
Now three years after my divorce I am back to spending Thanksgiving with my friends, collaborating on delicious turkey, stuffing and cranberry relish.
Even still it is hard for me to forget the Thanksgivings past.