Gathering With Gratitude and Sharing Ancestral Legacies
A couple of weeks ago my sister sent a group text to my family asking about Thanksgiving dinner and plans. We were talking about our favorite foods and who would contribute what. One thing was resoundingly clear, my mom should make her amazingly yummy stuffing.
Food is and has always been one of the things that bring us together. It evokes memories and gives us the opportunity to honor our loved ones. Living and dead. For example, I enjoy making French silk pie for my daughters who LOVE chocolate. It feels special that I can make something they have so much joy in savoring. I remember my grandma making broccoli and rice casserole. Nobody seems to make it quite the same.
I have cookbooks and recipes and some dishes handed down from both of my grandma’s, to my mom, and to me. When I pull these things out to use them I always think of my beloveds that used them before me. Sometimes I even feel waves of grief that they aren’t here to make, celebrate, and feast with me.
In taking a pause to honor my ancestors, I invite them forward to be with me as I give thanks. I honor my losses and connect with gratitude for their presence in my life. It nourishes my heart.
Love shows up in all forms around the table. We savor our food and honor traditions and we have conversations.
There are many conversations that I wish now I would have had with my elders. I wish I knew more stories about my grandparents when they were younger. Looking back, you might also have feelings of regret or longings to know more about those that came before you.
I encourage you to invite meaningful conversation and share the legacies of your ancestors this holiday season. Your family may not know how to initiate these conversations. If you are the elder, offer your stories as a way to start. If you are the generation looking to carry the legacies, here are a few questions you can ask to get the conversation started.
What are some of the accomplishments you value the most in your life?
What are some of your most cherished joys?
What have been your deepest struggles?
How do you hope other people will remember you?
What do you hope you will leave the world?
Whether you are able to gather with loved ones during this wild holiday season or not, there is an opportunity to connect through stories, recipes, loss, and legacy. Be creative. Email me back if you’d like some help.
Write me back and tell me how will you call your ancestors to the table this holiday season?
Grace & Peace,