Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Give Thanks

This is a picture of our Thanksgiving last year. Notice the center piece. Pretty nice, huh? Are we fancy or what? Just a bunch of Marthta fuckin' Stewarts. How about the wonder bread and paper plates. Anyone hear that rumbling? It's my mother rolling in her grave.

Yes, this is just another of the Norman Rockwell moments at the D'Amico household. Looking at this picture, you would never know I was the one with "the knack!"

I am dead serious though. That was last Thanksgiving at my house. The Madonna's kids could not get to Pittsburgh until later in the day on Thanksgiving, so we had our big dinner on Friday, the day after.

I didn't want to have to cook a turkey twice, so I made beef stew on Thursday. We were in a hurry so I just sort of threw the bowls out on the table with the good china. We had such a nice time. After eating stew, we all went to Cousin #2, George's house for desert. (who in my eyes, made the jump to number one this year).

Believe it or not, it was one of the best holidays because there was absolutely no stress involved. Unless you account for my worries that I didn't have enough paper plates!

Thanksgiving was such a big deal in our family. Year after year all my cousins, aunts and uncles would come to our house and we would squeeze around folding tables. I wouldn't trade those memories for anything.

The ones that stick out though, are the ones that deviated from the norm.

Ten years ago, when my mother was in the last stages of her cancer, we wanted to make sure she had a special Thanksgiving. My whole family came to my house for what was to be my mothers last Thanksgiving dinner.

The day before, she got really sick and her Doctor told her it was too risky for her to be near a bunch of people because her white blood count was up or something like that. We were so disappointed. There we were, all eating at my house with out my parents.

So my father set up the card table at her bedside. We sent up all the food. And they ate, just the two of them. While 25 or so kids, grandkids, son's in law, etc. ate down the street at my house.

We all felt so bad. But you know what my mother said. She said it was one of her best Thanksgiving's. It was just like their first one together in 1950. Just the two of them. They spent their last, just like their first. But this time, they were thankful for a job well done as the fruits of their labor were a few streets away, happy, healthy, successful and enjoying each others company.

Thanks for a job well done.
That's what it's all about.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

November 22, 1963

Anyone of a certain age, and yes that includes me, knows exactly what we were doing about two minutes after this picture was taken.
I was sitting in Sr. Madonna's (No not "The Madonna") first grade class.
Every Day from noon to one, my mother watched Bill Burns, then Guiding Light and Search For Tomorrow. That's when soaps were on for only 15 minutes.
They broke into Search for Tomorrow with news the President had been shot. She then hurried up and called the school. Then I'm sure she called my Aunt Babe and they talked about if for hours on the phone.
We were told just to kneel in the aisle and pray. And that's what we did. No kneelers, no church. Just drop to our knees and pray right there. Right there in the aisle of Sr. Madonna's first grade class room in St. Mary's Grade School. I'm sure every other class room was doing the same thing.
Can you imagine if that were to happen today? Parents would be calling the school saying we ruined Johnny's knees for life and because of that, he will not have that future NFL career that he was sure to have!
Madmen did an episode about the assassination. Boy did they nail it. Hands down. That's why I totally loved that show.
What were you all doing that day?