Thanksgiving is this Thursday. Some years, it sneaks up on me and others I am very much aware of it. It’s what happens when a holiday isn’t celebrated where you live (and you’ve been away from country for the holiday for most of 17 years). I think this year it has mostly sneaked* up on me. I mean, I knew Thanksgiving was coming, but I didn’t really start feeling it until just the other day and especially last night.
The night before Thanksgiving is when my grandma died. I was 14. I had wanted to stay the night at a friend’s house that night, but my mom wouldn’t let me. But that next morning she said I could go to my friends. I thought it strange, but being 14, I didn’t think about it much further. Until that evening after the Thanksgiving festivities had ended and my mom told us the news. We ended up leaving to my grandparents house the next day.
I remember that I didn’t have my school work with me. We were reading Great Expectations in English class. I remember Perrin (4 years older than me) taking me and my siblings to a truck stop for hot chocolate while we were in my grandparents’ hometown. He had taught me how to play pool that summer. And I had a huge 14 year old girl crush on him. (It would never ever be anything more, because he was a proper Mormon boy.) I remember seeing my grandmother in her open casket. It was her, but it wasn’t. It was also the first (and only?) time I’ve seen a dead person. I remember the dress I wore to the funeral: the same turquoise dress I wore to my 8th grade dance. (My grandmother wouldn’t have wanted me to be sad and wear black my mom told me.) I remember the last conversation I had with my grandma. She was telling me that she might get her ears pierced.
*Sneaked is a correct past tense form of snuck, I googled it.