Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends! I posted this on back in 2013, but after reading it again thought I’d repost with some updates.
What’s your favorite Turkey, Ham, Rolls, Dressing, Mashed Potatoes, Yams, Cranberry sauce, or Pumpkin pie? Are you starting to drool a bit yet? I must admit I am, or maybe it’s just the Parkinson’s dammit! Anyway it is Thanksgiving weekend and I been thinking what does this holiday mean to me.
In the United States, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is commonly, but not universally, traced to a poorly documented 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. I bring this up because of my family history on my mom’s side. John Washburn (1597-1669) my 9th great grandfather immigrated to Plymouth in 1631 followed by his wife Margery and sons John and Phillip in 1635. John my 8th great grandfather married Elizabeth Mitchell in 1645, who was the granddaughter of Francis Cooke who came over on the Mayflower (yes I have family ties to the Mayflower) in 1620. I find it awesome to think that some of my relatives were around to celebrate some of the first Thanksgivings.
Now my first memories of Thanksgiving are of getting in the car with the family and making the 70 mile trip from Cameron to my grandparent’s farm just outside of Marceline. The attached photo is of our Thanksgiving dinner in 1964. The blonde in the front is my older sister Lori and going clockwise my aunt Kate (mom’s sister) my mother Jo Ann, the baby of the family Julie, my father Jim (Edgar), me (age 3), peaking in is my grandfather Paw (John), then my big brother Gregory.
I remember these Thanksgivings full of fun, food, board games, and of course watching the Macy’s parade followed by football in black and white of course. The meals were awesome because being on the farm my grandmother and mom made almost the whole meal from scratch with most everything raised right there. The whole family hasn’t gotten together in years and I miss those holidays.
Now to the real meaning of this holiday for me, it’s very simple. It’s time for me to think of all the things and people in my life that I’m thankful for. I’m thankful that God gave me just enough talent to walk on the Northwest basketball team, if he had given me any more I probably would have gone to another school to play and would not have made some of my best friends in my life though Northwest, #OABAAB!
I’m thankful that I have my health, yes I know I have Parkinson’s but having seeing first hand some of my friends fight for their lives against cancer and seeing some lose their fight I realize each and every day there are worst things than Parkinson’s. I’m thankful for all the support that I get from friends and strangers to cope with Parkinson’s and giving me the drive I have to help raise money and awareness to help others with Parkinson’s. From the bottom of my heart thanks to all of you!
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving everyone.