Summer is gone. The beautiful fall foliage adorns the yard as the sun peers through the barren branches, giving way to a colorful auburn, rusty orange but, warm and inviting autumn picture. No one seems to pay any attention to this picturesque event outside our house, for today we celebrate the biggest tradition within our family. The unity, love and sacred prayer instilled in this day of thanks sets it aside from all other holidays. This annual pilgrimage of coming together from all parts of the country such as Cleveland, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.spans back over three generations but, regardless of where we have come from or what our social level we are bonded firmly together by Love and Relation. The cohesiveness that is displayed at this festive occasion is unique and unmatched to any other family-shared holiday, there is Uncle Warren my father’s baby brother a retired military man who’s grey flannel pinstripe suit is a bit too small causing his pants to appear high-water (too short), he’s the patriarch of the family and he exudes it in a southern-fatherly why always having a look of discernment on his face. My nephew Rodney whom I helped raised and sent to college is home, he’s a Parole Officer in Atlanta Ga. it’s good to see him and his family and look his wife is expecting! Another addition to our family my sister who’s his mother is happy and very proud of him she wishes her youngest would change and follow his older brother’s ways and ethics. Brothers, Sisters Aunts Uncles and Cousins all come home. When looking back two generations, my Grandparents whom came from rural Alabama passed down the love and importance of this holiday to my Parents, who in turn held Thanksgiving with a very high regard. Though they all gone on and left us, the tradition of coming together still holds its Valor. My Family still comes to pray, share, eat and enjoy each other’s company.
Unity is displayed by the way we all contribute to the meal; each family member brings two or more items to complete our menu. Everything from my sister Gwen hot seasoned collard greens, or Aunt Anita’s candied yams, and Cousin Mile’s wife’s three cheese macaroni and cheese right up to the two thirty-pound turkeys one deep fried and the other one golden brown oven baked on the table. It’s amazing how a meal of this magnitude comes together without argument or differences. Even more important than the tasty food is the love and pride put into preparing each item. The meticulous approach to selecting the perfect vegetables, meats and ingredients, right down to the way everything is presented shows this love and pride. The meal is served on special gold trimmed china dishes that we only use for this occasion. Our holiday centerpiece filled with Indian corn and squash reminds us of the days of the Pilgrims.