An Old Woman’s Thanksgiving- In Memory of My Mother

Thanksgiving is a time when many families come together for a celebration. Mine was no exception. But, as we have gotten older, with our own families expanding, it has been harder and harder to gather everyone together in one spot. My mother and I were talking about this one day. Thus, this short story was born.

My mother played a small roll in my writing, often as my editor, even though we both had grammar issues. We laughed, we cried, and we encouraged each other. We would reminisce of days gone by and often dreamed of future events. We could often be found Skyping each other for hours during the time she was undergoing cancer treatments. For two years, she was in remission. Then in August of this year, her health took a turn for the worst. On August 20, 2017, she passed away. Her last words of encouragement was for me to get back into writing.

As a tribute to my mother, I am forwarding this story on. It was one of many that she had once published  under the name mljdgulley354 on HubPages.  It was one of her favorites, bring back memories of her own childhood.

mljdgulley354 aka Marcia Gulley

The Family Is Coming

“The family is coming for Thanksgiving! Oh, how that makes my heart feel good,” The old woman sit there thinking. “Four generations! How time flies. I’m an old woman, blessed with my children still living and their children having children of their own.”

The old woman continues to rock in her old rickety chair, thinking of all the days she has lived. Some times were not as prosperous as other times. Thinking back over her life, she couldn’t help but be grateful for the love she has experienced through her family.

Her own parents died when her children were small. Family holidays consisted of her and her children. Now the family has become larger and she wonders if her small home will be big enough to hold them.

She still has the big round oak table her children sat around when they were growing up. As she rocks, she envisions that table laden with the Thanksgiving meal.

“Yes, we will have turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy.”

Thinking of past turkey days, she remembers the pickle platters, laden with homemade dill and sweet pickles, pickled beets and oh, yes the watermelon pickles she made one year.

“Hmm, how did I prepare them little red berries, anyway?” Remembering being given whole cranberries one year by one of her neighbors, she mumbles to herself… “I remember putting them little berries in a pan with water and boiling them. I want to try that again for this Thanksgiving.”

Getting her rheumatoid body up from the chair, she went to the kitchen and rooted around for pie pans, cake pans and remembered the favorite pan she always used to bake homemade rolls in. It had been a while since she had used these pans. Since her children lived so far away, she usually went to one of their home’s for the holidays.

“I am so glad they are all coming here,” she tells herself, “these old bones just don’t take to riding too far anymore. Besides, it will be so much fun cooking and baking, at least, one last time for my family.”

She was looking forward to seeing her four children and their spouses, eight grandchildren and spouses, and twelve great-grandchildren.

It had been over five years since they had all been together.

“What a houseful,” she thinks to herself. “I wonder where they will all bed down. Oh, well you worry to much, old woman.”

She went on digging out baking pans and dishes she had stored away because cooking for one didn’t require all these dishes.

She wondered what the great-grandchildren would do, she didn’t have television but she did have board games, gathering dust in the bookshelves. She didn’t need television or a computer, it would be too hard to learn to run those things. The new telephone was bad enough to try to figure out. Things used to be so simple. Now it took a rocket scientist to figure out how to pay her few bills. She was glad she didn’t have to drive a car, what with gas being so expensive. On her meager social security check, she had to be careful what she spent her money on.

She was thankful for her home, though. It was warm and comfortable. She had heard there were many folks that had no home and probably had no family to look forward to visiting them either.

“Well, don’t the pies look nice,” the old woman thought, “two pumpkin pies, one each for the twins, an apple pie for Daren, and a cherry pie for Darcy.”

Looking over the rest of the food preparations, the woman was proud to see the pickle platter ready. The chocolate cake the grandchildren always enjoyed was frosted. The potatoes were ready to mash, waiting for her to make the gravy. The green bean casserole and sweet potatoes were on the bottom rack of the oven. The turkey was stuffed, in the oven, and beginning to turn a golden brown.

“Well, it looks like I still have what it takes, hopefully, I can fill my family up this Thanksgiving,” the old woman thinks as she begins setting the table. “Good thing I kept my big round oak table. There’s enough room if we use the counter for everyone to sit together.”

With everything ready and waiting on the families to arrive, there’s time for the old woman to sit back down in her rocker and take a bit of a nap.

“Mom, we are here,” says Darcy, as she comes through the front door, her family following.

“Wow Mom, you have outdone yourself. Everything smells wonderful!” exclaims Daren, also walking through the door.

Having car pooled with their families, since they live in the same town, the twins arrived about the same time.

One of the twins went over to give her mom a hug…

“Oh, NO! This can’t be,”  she shouted.


Her family gathered around, tears flowing, to say their good-byes. The old woman had passed with a content smile and a table bursting with the goodies she had worked so hard to make. Her last thoughts were how blessed she was to have such a loving family.

© 2017 Tammy Poague


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Tammy Poague

Tammy Poague (TLPoague) is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She can often be found baking, gardening, writing, canning, crafting, or reading a book. She loves spending time with family and friends. Life is rarely boring in her household. There can often be found a dash of craziness, splash of chaos, and a pound of love.

11 thoughts on “An Old Woman’s Thanksgiving- In Memory of My Mother

  • September 28, 2017 at 9:19 AM

    Oh what a wonderful tribute to your Mom. I adored her on HubPages and I’m so very sorry for your loss.

    • October 1, 2017 at 1:41 PM

      Thanks Susan,
      I will miss her. She was the first one I usually went to. I was often asking if my stories were okay, how to do something, or just chatting out of boredom. It was so weird not being able to call her when my fourth grandson was born.
      I was grateful that I could salvage what she had posted on HubPages. For awhile, I wasn’t sure if I could even be able to access her work. I have my brother to thank for helping me with it. Slowly, I would like to post more here to keep sharing her writings with others.

  • September 28, 2017 at 12:22 PM

    Tammy, this is a wonderful way to show a loving tribute to your mother. Thank you for sharing this story. I am sorry to hear about your loss.

    • October 1, 2017 at 1:44 PM

      Thanks Phyllis,
      I was hoping that you wouldn’t mind me sharing a few of her works here. For the few years we were writing at HP, it was all I could do to get her to post something, so I was horrified at the idea that it could possibly be taken away without anyone having access to her work. Especially my family.
      I am grateful for the opportunity to start writing again, surrounded by such a caring community. Thank you again for that.

  • September 28, 2017 at 3:28 PM

    A wonderful tribute to what sounds like an amazing person. You must feel blessed each time you remember her.

    • October 1, 2017 at 1:50 PM

      Thanks RJ,
      I do. Like any other mother-daughter relationship, we have had our ups and downs, but managed to work them out. When we found out she had cancer, it was a cold dash of reality at how quickly one can be taken from our grasp. I tried to spend that time doing all I could to spend time with her. She was a great coach.

  • September 28, 2017 at 8:25 PM

    A heartfelt tribute Tammy, and a sad loss for you and everyone that knew your Mum. Nicely and emotively written.

    • October 1, 2017 at 1:52 PM

      Thanks Tony,
      I hope to get more posted here as time allows. I wanted to respond to everyone sooner, but my dad has been in the hospital since last Thursday. There is never a dull moment at our house.
      So glad to meet up again! I have loved reading your work.

  • September 30, 2017 at 8:33 AM

    I of course did not know your mom, but after reading this I feel that I do. What a wonderful tribute to her Tammy.

    • October 1, 2017 at 1:54 PM

      Thanks Kurt,
      She had a way of making a lasting impression on someone.


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