If I had to choose a favorite holiday, it would be Thanksgiving. The family time, the turkey, the cranberry sauce, all the sides, cider, pumpkin pie…oh, yeah, and being thankful.
Thanksgiving was always special to me growing up. I know a lot of Korean families who have kimchee on the side but my family never did that. Maybe it was because my grandparents lived in San Diego when they first immigrated to the States, where there weren’t many Koreans. We stuck to the “American” style Thanksgiving meals. I loved it! Thanksgiving is also my maternal grandmother’s birthday. Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of November and changes every year but we always celebrated on Thanksgiving Day. Growing up, it took me awhile to realize that the date was never the same. To this day I don’t know my grandma’s real birthday. We just celebrate on Thanksgiving because it falls somewhere around that time.
If you’ve followed any of my posts, you’ll know that my relationship with my grandmother is deep, strong, and complicated. I realized that I never followed up with anything about her after my wedding. To recap, she had given me a wedding gift before I got married because she thought she wouldn’t be able to attend the wedding because she would either have passed by then or be too frail. I thought she was being dramatic, but she really was frail. She caught the shingles a couple months before my wedding date. There was a high probability that she would not have made it, but she was better and she came to the wedding. One of my happiest and saddest moments that day was seeing her struggling to walk down the aisle with her cane as she came down to join the rest of the family in our big, family picture. She had a smile on her face because she had lived to see me, her first granddaughter finally get married — a wish she had desired for more than a decade.
I had often complained that the only thing she would talk to me about is getting married. I was often mad at myself for not being better to her, sometimes feeling guilty that I didn’t do more. I am thankful for her constant love for me though our days together have been fewer and fewer.
And I’m grateful my grandma is a fighter. She made it to my wedding, didn’t she? She is also so much more. She has shown me how to be affectionate and loyal to loved ones.
Though I had labeled her as being dramatic, I guess it’s because I knew deep down inside she would be at my wedding. I’m so glad she made it. Cane and all.