Departed family member there in our hearts this Thanksgiving

Debra-Lynn B. Hook

I start prepping for Thanksgiving when the last of the Reese’s Pieces is doled out to the last trick-or-treating Spider-Man.

I start as soon as is ethically reasonable because, first of all, I love Thanksgiving as much as I love snow, even in April (sorry, Ohio).

Second of all, linens and dishes and silver don’t always get returned to their rightful place the year before.

This means I will need time and patience to scrounge through multiple bins in the basement, including the one marked “Thanksgiving” that somehow now holds Easter baskets.

This year, I am being driven by something else — that is, my husband’s death at the beginning of autumn. I feel the whole family weighted down by the trauma and grievance of his swift demise from dementia, and so yes, please, on to garlands around the chandelier and the comfort of family tradition.

As meaningful as anything is the table.

It will take much seeking this year to locate the centerpiece, a colorful porcelain turkey platter I found at a flea market when we lived in Missouri 25 years ago. The platter is big enough for a 15-pound turkey and a 5-pound tofu turkey roast and garish enough for Moulin Rouge; you’d think it would be obvious.

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