My love for this Holiday is mostly mixed but more weighted toward the positive side of things. Growing up in Omaha, NE in a 99.9% white neighborhood (Keystone) I was one among 3 other Native Americans and 1 lone African American. This wasn’t an ‘issue’ til around 5th grade- before that I was given the opportunity to speak in class about the history of Thanksgiving– my father being a very prominent member of the community the teachers were OK with the kids being taught my ‘side’. That ‘side’ being one of mass ethnic cleansing, pox, disease, murder, rape of my ancestors. Not to mention the pillaging of it’s resources and claiming of lands that belonged to no one yet claimed in a few short speeches and letters. I’ve nothing against ‘whites’ per se, I’m half so It’s hard to hate oneself unless you simply like to hate. Like most cultures before the great white wave – if only they had banded together this country (USA) might have been a lot different in it’s current form. But much like the tribes of Africa and even today…the clans ‘history’ of transgressions kept them from banding together. Thus, divide and conquered ensued and we lost generations of languages, culture and souls. It was destiny I suppose. So in that aspect I dislike the stereotypes of Thanksgiving and how my people were subservient to the Pilgrims. If it wasn’t for our curiosity and kindness the Pilgrims would have perished.
For me Thanksgiving in the past few years represents one significant moment 4 years ago. I got a call from my Father– my mother had been diagnosed with terminal lung and brain cancer. My heart dropped and I dropped the phone. I cried tears of knowing pain. I also knew it was coming, my mother had been smoking since her teen years and avg. 2 packs a day. My wife was beside me when I got the call and my parents played it as if it was trivial– getting 2 and 3rd opinions as the original Doctor said she had 9 months to live. Long, sad story short, chemo, my mother did pass away 9 months later. I was with her during her final week in Pennsylvania and left her with a whispered message of love and thankfulness and honor of being her son. She passed 2 days later. So every Thanksgiving I think MORE of her than other days and Holidays.
A blessing of a Thanksgiving was when I got the courage to ‘Pop” the question to my (now) wife Alo. This was 3 years ago- our kids were all there- my son & daughter and her daughters. They were all sitting around talking, pre-excitement for the carving of the Turkey when I asked them for their attention and got on one knee and asked my Love of 4 years of dating to Marry me. She said yes and beads of sweat trickled off my over-sized forehead and was at last relieved of my nervousness. The kids teared up sans my son….and she called her parents and friends. We went on and had the absolute worst Turkey Dinner ever cooked. lol
I’ve shared enough personal stuff for the day, I hope you all have great memories past and present. Be safe and remember to brush your teeth.