Thanksgiving- 2011- A time “NOT” to remember – Chris Ritchey
American Thanksgiving – celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, has officially been an annual tradition in the United States since 1863, when during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26.
America is not alone in “giving thanks” Britain has been celebrating since pagan times –
Britain, thanks have been given for successful harvests since pagan times. Harvest festival is traditionally held on the Sunday near or of the Harvest Moon. This is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox (about Sept. 23). In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October. The celebrations on this day usually include singing hymns, praying, and decorating churches with baskets of fruit and food in the festival known as Harvest Festival, Harvest Home or Harvest Thanksgiving.
As Europeans discovered the new world they brought with them their own cultures and beliefs- and adapted them to their new locations.
I celebrated American Thanksgiving for the Americans in my family- truth be told I resented having to cook what was originally my family’s traditional Turkey “Christmas dinner” a month early- it spoiled the lead up to our English Christmas but a deal was struck- a compromise . If the American part of the family decorated the outside of the house with lights etc then I would cook a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner. For many years this was the “tradition” of this small family and I changed up the traditional Christmas fare- although the gingered apricots never went down too well :)
I remember the first dinner, my now son-in-law, Jim, attended at Thanksgiving-he was expecting, I am sure, to watch the parade and football etc. However, he was handed row upon row of lights and a huge wreath for the front of the house and a ladder- they had to work before eating. He has never forgotten that experience of this particular intermingling of culture.
Those times continued – the next Thanksgiving that stands out was the one when my son had broken up with Angela ( Lombardi) ritchey DO. That was a Thanksgiving I remember too well and quite honestly wished I had kept my mouth shut then maybe she and her family would not have been part of our lives and my son’s death. ( another post).
Artwork-The “Circus- by Chris Ritchey
I wish like Rip Van Winkle I could sleep through these up coming days and American Thanksgiving. It was Thanksgiving Day I saw my son intubated- heard from stranger he was dying and as bad as it was being alone with that news it was worse so much worse when the Clan Lombardi and their gypsy caravan in tow descended into that waiting room with their left over cold mashed potatoes, dry turkey and pumpkin pies and nut bread.
I was sickened to my heart and soul by their actions. I still gag at the very thought of them and their leftovers in that ” ICU waiting room”. I couldn’t understand their thinking, when to all intents and purposes we had been told just a couple of hours before Chris was dying- and how they could “eat”? . It still sends ripples of disgust through my being as I think of the swapping of recipes that afternoon waiting for my son to breathe his last so they could get on with their “plans”.
Last year I pulled my home around me – I tried everything to wipe the “Clan Lombardi, Vyka, Gonzales, Gott and Zaworski”, the hangers-on and Thanksgiving from my mind – to get rid of the bile that was rising in my throat at the thought of the previous year and the utter lack of compassion/consideration shown to Chris’ family by the pillars of the their respective churches.
I retreated into a world of grey, devoid of compassion or faith, compounded by their actions and those of their ilk -the basic human fundamentals tainted and tarnished, an ugly truth of hypocrisy now mirrored in their image.
I attended a function recently and who should be there but their Father Daniel O. Divis-
I didn’t notice him at first – he was in civilian clothes- Nikki did notice him. It was one of those functions that had I said and did what I wanted to- others- would have had a well deserved celebration ruined. I kept my countenance.
However, it turned out he ended up right behind us in line. I looked upon the face and into the eyes of the man who had knowingly enabled my son to be taken from his family buried in a plot not of our faith or tradition or Chris ‘s ( knowing full well Chris lack of support for the Catholic Church ) and interred him without his family knowing.The ‘ man of God” who helped take closure from a grief stricken mother , father ,sister……….
As I looked at the person of Father Daniel Divis he gave me an asinine little quirky smile , crooked his head to one side with a slight shoulder shrug. I only hope he felt the sheer coldness that permeated the stare I gave back to him; he certainly turned away. He should be thankful this year for a lot of things including the fact that once in a while I have to be circumspect out of respect to those I hold dear. As a “man of God” I have to wonder does he follow the teachings of compassion and love of the mother and father- couldn’t prove it by this family!
Thanksgiving 2011 – the dilemma came upon me – no longer will I hold an American Thanksgiving in this house- there is no longer a need to decorate this house for Christmas - those traditions are gone from this “old house”.
But my American family is growing- and a little boy and his new “brother/sister” will need traditions and happy memories upon which to build their own traditions. I cannot pull my home around me this year I will travel the short in mileage but for ME, the huge journey to my daughter’s.
I will help her cook for this Thanksgiving and Nikki will start her own traditions, Nana will eat lamb chops, Jim can watch football, my husband will walk the woods where his last spoke with his son, we will get through with the help of a little boy and I will try not to remember Thanksgiving past…………..
Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, Brit take, Chris Ritchey, grief, hell is other people, Love, Mothers. Tags: Angela (Ritchey) Murphy DO, Angela Lombardi Ritchey Murphy Westlake, Angela Marie Lombardi Ritchey Murphy, Angela Marie Murphy, Angela ritchey DO, death, Father Dan Divas, Father Daniel Divas Lorain, grief, Lombardi-Lorain, mothers and sons, Sue and Tim Lombardi Lorain, Tim and Sue Lombardi.