This I Believe

Hetti - belmont, Massachusetts
Entered on November 5, 2007

I look outside and see the yellow-brown leaves dancing, dangling, wafting under the clearest blue sky. I feel the coldness in our kitchen, especially due to our drafty older New England Colonial. When I went outside yesterday to run, I could smell the leaves just before they disappear for the winter. Yes, it’s November and two weeks and a bit more from Thanksgiving.

My younger now New York City living daughter will come home for a few days and my older Peace Corps returned daughter will be here for her first Thanksgiving in three years.

Still, I haven’t heard from my brother and his wife (about the holiday) who live just 15 miles away from our just outside of Boston location. They orient themselves to my sister-in-law’s family. And it grieves me. I no longer have a family of origin -even though I do- and nearby too -just over heartbreak hill and through the western suburban woods.

I’ve taken to wonder what I’ve done not to receive an invite. Have I not reached out enough? Cared enough? Been too aloof? Hard nosed? Difficult when it comes to my mother? I even forget to look at what they’ve done to the family I’ve created and I grieve some more.

This Thanksgiving we will go to friends, just down the hill and through a few suburban streets. And the four of us will have a fun time with the four of them. And they will act lovingly and inclusive to my daughters, in ways my own family hasn’t. We will eat turkey, stuffing, and gravy, and homemade cranberry sauce, pumpkin bread, applesauce and apple pies. After we will play cards or charades. We will laugh and listen to each other.

This is what I believe: friends are often kinder, gentler, more beneficial than family. But it’s hard as stone to accept that.