At Thanksgiving, everybody in the family has a dish to prepare or a job to do, but my role is far from the kitchen. Instead, you’ll find me seated at the piano, playing the music that five generations have sung around the same beloved upright.
Every year, right before the holidays, I dust off the old sheet music to practice, and every year I pause at the same lyrics: “Through the years we all will be together, if the fates allow.” Every year it seems another face is missing from my little world, and those bittersweet lines bring a quick tear to my eye.
Anderson Cooper, in his recent podcast, “All There Is,” quotes a listener who lamented that death had prevented her father and husband – the two most important people in her life – from ever meeting. But then she had an epiphany – they met within her, each of their voices still part of her everyday decisions and feelings. She felt grateful for the strong connection she still felt and always would.
This year I am planning to whisper “Thank you” to many beautiful souls who touched my life with love, and whose voices still echo in my heart. They will all be quietly within me as I gather around the table with my loud happy family, all of them joking and hugging and being wonderfully alive.
Wishing all of our candidates, our clients and my dear colleagues a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving with those who are dear to them, nearby or not, alive or not. And for all the love and friendship we have known in this life, let us all be truly grateful.