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Some Thoughts on Family. And Devotion. And Turkey.

Posted by Dani on November 27, 2012

There was a turkey cooking in my oven the other day. A turkey I had absolutely nothing to do with. A free turkey. It was part of project #FeedDaniela. My parents showed up with it at my door, popped it in the oven, and raked leaves while the bird was cooking.

And they didn’t just bring turkey. They brought green grocery bins loaded with other goodies. Garden grown vegetables. Potatoes to make mashed potatoes. Butter and parmesan to put in the mashed potatoes. Extra parmesan just in case, because they think it improves the taste of just about anything. And I should add that my sister Nadia got involved in sourcing delicious gluten-free bread so my kids could fully enjoy the stuffing. At the end of the day, my family got to come home to a house that smelled like Mrs. Cleaver lived there, a dinner table loaded down with a feast, and a freshly raked lawn.

Now, this is not a unique occurrence. Seriously, all kinds of amazing things walk in my door. Meal-sized portions of frozen minestrone and chicken soup to fill my freezer. Homemade pasta. Gnocchi. Tomorrow when my dad comes over to paint a ceiling in a basement room we are renovating, he’s bringing a giant apple crisp made from his buddy’s apples. The list goes on.

I can’t imagine this happens to anyone else. At least no one I know. Usually when I explain this to one of my girlfriends, the reaction is the same: dropped jaw, stunned look, and then some comment like “I would give ANYTHING to have that.” I’m not sure what exactly I have done to deserve this, other than possibly volunteer in a leper colony in my previous life.

Now, I’m not telling you all this to make you envious, or petition to be adopted by Giorgio and Alda. I just wanted to share with you the story of how my parents show their love. We don’t get a lot of affection in my family, and definitely not much praise, but my parents love fiercely and they show their love with food and devotion. I know that if I needed her, my 74-year old mother (who does not drive) would set off on foot from Yonge and Sheppard and walk across the city to get here. This is what my family is about.

I was inspired to write this post while I was looking at my parents work the other day, as they were trying to tame my yard into submission. My lot is over half an acre, and raking this place is not a job for wimps. My parents are in their 70s and they head out there with brooms and rakes and hack away at my unruly lot until they impose a sense of order that I could never hope to accomplish. Just looking at my yard puts me on overwhelm. Yet somehow they can do all this and whip up a turkey dinner at the same time. I obviously did not inherit the fortitude and cojones that runs through my family line.

At these times, I am seriously in awe of them. When I am not complaining about something or other, that is. Because, as in every family, there is always something to complain about. Something that gets on your nerves. Something that annoys or upsets or offends or irritates you and overshadows what is really important. Because although I am extremely grateful for all that they do, it suddenly occurred to me the other day that my gratitude is FAR TOO QUIET. That what they give, and my appreciation for it, should really dominate every aspect of my relationship with them.

Instead, my appreciation is small and my complaints are big. And I think this certainly applies to many areas of my life. It is really far too easy for me to take for granted so many beautiful things that I have been given by my family, by my friends, and by life in general. So many things that I just don’t SEE. On the bright side, this gives me lots of room for improvement!

I did take the time that day to pull out some antique espresso cups and serve my parents coffee in a special way. It was the first time I had used these cups, but I thought life is short – time to smell the roses.

Just some things to think about on this crisp fall day.


2 Responses to “Some Thoughts on Family. And Devotion. And Turkey.”

  1. Sandra Amato says:

    You could have been talking about my parents….that’s a great piece of writing. I hope you showed it to them!

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