This is one of those holidays that centers around family, friends and feast. I remember as a child that this was a time for our own family to get together but as we grew up and took our own direction in the world, things changed as did the day. Although memories center around being together not many are recalled as specific enough to relate – except being thankful for each other and getting together over the years as we could. My brother lives in Vancouver so has not shared this “tradition” for the last 17 years; my youngest sister lives locally but in the last few years does not share this “tradition” with everyone either. Sometimes it’s like the core revolves around Mom, Dad, Syl and myself…with others coming and going as they enter and leave our lives, permanently or just temporarily separated by distance or cause. There have been spouses, then none. There have been boyfriends, just friends, our own children and now as they grow older and are intent upon making their own pathway in life, there are additional friends, boyfriends, girl friends and so on. These six grandchildren to my mom and dad range in ages from 14 to 28 (sorry kids if I’m off a year but that’s what happens when we don’t keep in touch – I am speaking of the oldest and the youngest because mine’s in between) and there are no plans in the near future for more offspring to take us to another generation. As the family grew apart, meaning taking our separate ways, we traversed from a large family home to many small units – most of which are too small to house the whole family if everyone decides to join the festivities. It’s okay. We are together in heart, always. Today there were six of us and it was a wonderful day. My sister always outdoes herself keeping the traditional family favorites from Mom’s awesome holiday meals. It’s nice to be together with whoever can make it, knowing that everyone is part of the blessings in one way or another. We are thankful for each day that we can spend together and take joy in each others lives. Amen.