This year Thanksgiving took profound dimensions for us. As I wrote in ” A new beginning”, Nico, who was afflicted with cancer this year, received a chance for a new life , hopefully without cancer, because the cancer has been successfully removed. My house keeper who is Ecuadorian and does not celebrate Thanksgiving in Ecuador, said to me how wonderful it is to celebrate “Dia de gracias”, thank you day. She is a cancer survivor as well. So when she left after cleaning the house, she said: Happy thank you day (Feliz dia de gracias). I just loved the way she said it. I have called it thank you day as well, during this season. It is profound it its simplicity, and still conveys the message for everybody to understand, even if you have never heard of Thanksgiving.
Our thank you day was overflowing with thank you’s. How can one sufficiently say thank you for another chance at life? It is mind boggling to put one’s brain, heart and soul around the magnitude of what we want to say, to express the emotions of what thank you day means to us this year.
Family and friends came to our house to share our feelings of gratitude. Friends, I always say, are actually our chosen family. We also invited some friends who are new to Ecuador and have no family here. One couple told us that it was the first Thanksgiving with “family”. All other times they have spent in a restaurant. To at least enjoy a traditional meal, associated with the foods, the pilgrims managed to grow and harvest in the beginning, was a treat indeed. It amazes me often, to realize how easy it is to make somebody’s day. No heroic measures, no going out of one’s way, just including people in ways that we enjoy our selves. I am very happy that the turkey turned out incredibly well. Nico prepared it this year and soaked the beast for 36 hours in a brine of water, salt, herbs and spices. Yes my friends, it did the trick for us….. unusually moist and delicious. We will add this to our traditional ways of preparing the turkey.
Phone calls and Skype sessions from our sons and their families in America, always top off the day with sweet emotions and mental embraces. My son Peter, one day, a long time ago said: Who said that love is a many splendor thing….. no mama… it is a direct line from your heart to mine. How true it is with all my boys, and always will be. I was very touched by it then, and now. That was the reason I saved that letter, probably will take it to my grave with me. A nice and comforting thing to accompany me during the unknown journey to the here after. Not planning to do it soon though, but always good to be prepared.
Christmas is closely upon us, as I wrote before, bitter sweet….. bitter to be far from family, but sweet for the joys of new experiences, new friends, new learning’s (learning Spanish comes to mind), a new journey to be discovered and enjoyed to the fullest.
Christmas is widely celebrated in Ecuador that is predominantly Catholic. Decorations and lights will adorn the entire city, especially long strings of lights around the trees along rivers, that go through towns and villages. The magnificent old churches are decorated and filled to capacity with people dressed in their finest. Christmas music escaping from the huge halls of churches, and from different tops of government buildings. Shops displaying big barrels of sweets and goodies. It is customary to buy a little of every barrel, and make small packages to hand out to kids, any child, do not have to know them. Last year we went to an orphanage and gave the 29 kids one of these wonderful packages each. The nuns there also told us that the children were badly in need of pajamas, so we gave them that, as well as school supplies. The magic of Christmas for 29 sweet souls. Nico also went to a local BBQ place and ordered 5 whole BBQ chickens, which we cut up in the kitchen of the orphanage. We added it to their dinner and Christmas was complete. Not much of a novel idea, but it did make magic for the children, and us as well.
We have to wave our magic wand this year again, and bring joy to our farmer neighborhood.
For now, my beloved family and friends, and everybody who will stumble upon this blog; you are all uniquely created for your journey on this earth. In a special way you make the world so much better than it would be without you. Thank you for passing by, and sharing my world and journey. I wish for all of you, everything you need in this life and then some. I raise a glass of goodness and cheers for good health, peace and harmony in our hearts, and tons of loving energies from beautiful Cuenca, Ecuador.