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Thanksgiving Reflections

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As November approaches each year, our thoughts immediately turn to Thanksgiving and our celebration of food, family, home, health, and other blessings. At OneTeam we are truly grateful for our customers who support us by using our product and for our employees, who work hard to make OneTeam a better product.

This Thanksgiving, as you gather around the table, or firepit, or the turkey frier, may your heart overflow with thankfulness and gratitude for your blessings. We share this Thanksgiving tradition from our Product Manager, Donna Hamby and hope you are inspired to keep your favorite Thanksgiving traditions alive and maybe make some new ones this year!

The Tablecloth

Thanksgiving 1

"My favorite holiday of the year is by far Thanksgiving! I share our Thanksgiving tradition in hopes it will help others connect and build memories with their own families.

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday with wonderful food, family, and friends and without the stress of finding that perfect gift. In 2002, my husband and I bought an antique dining table that was really large, and I could not find a tablecloth to fit. I bought fabric and did not even finish the raw edges. I used paint to stamp leaves and wrote thoughts on thankfulness. Every year since, we have asked guests at Thanksgiving Dinner to sign the tablecloth, express their thankfulness, or draw a picture. We can track our daughters' romances and friends, new pets, marriages, new homes, and major health events across it. We downsized a few years later and sold the huge table - but kept the tablecloth.

Throughout the years, the tablecloth has chronicled cataract surgery (new eyes) and heart valve replacement - thankful for that cow who gave the valve! It has recorded honest gratefulness of children - orange soda, dressing, and my cat - and it records mature gratefulness - my job, college graduation, spouse, children, and more. It has allowed us to remember 'Just last year, Daddy was sitting right here...' and 'if only we had known this was her last Thanksgiving with us.' In the midst of the 'if only' there is still so much gratitude. 

Here are some thoughts I penned through the years.

Thanksgiving 3 (2)

2017: Our Thanksgiving tablecloth got a new name - Lorelai Olivia Pope! I was so happy for our new granddaughter's handprint to be part of our Thanksgiving tradition. Our tablecloth reminds us of my Dad's Alzheimer's disease, but I smiled again today as I remember him signing the cloth for the last time in 2006, and am grateful for the time, the love, and the memories. One year a note recalled my Uncle Bill's cancer diagnosis and his total remission after a hard fight.

2018: Our tablecloth reminds of us the time Aunt Joy was unable to make her famous sourdough bread and Uncle Bill made it. He made the bread with too much salt - he used tablespoons instead of teaspoons, and we ate the bread anyway, because it was that good! We laugh to read about one certain dog who took a liking to the deviled eggs! It reminds us of the years that someone was sick and couldn't be there. It also reminds of us of the love we have for family members who were once part of our life but have moved beyond this world and on to another one.

Thanksgiving  02019: The family gathering is smaller this year. Some family live out-of-state, others work in the medical field, and this is not a holiday for them. The tablecloth is a bit wrinkled, but the names and memories are clear. This year the oldest and the youngest members of our family, 83 years and 2 years, sit side-by-side to sign the tablecloth and create more memories. Even if only for today, or if only for a few moments, we take time to be grateful for what we have, instead of thinking about what we do not have.

2020: This year the Thanksgiving tablecloth is being packed and taken to the beach. We will not all sit around it and enjoy our Thanksgiving meal, but we will spread out between the outdoor decks, and indoor dining. Everyone will not be there in person; some are quarantined, and others cannot travel. Some family remain only in our hearts and not by our side.

2021: This year we are again headed to the beach with most of the family. We will be adding a new name this year – our grandson, Oliver James Pope! This is not Oliver’s first Thanksgiving, but he was not at the beach last year due to Covid quarantines. While I enjoy time with the grandkids and other family, we will miss family members who cannot be there with us. We are blessed to have friends that have become family, and family that are truly our best friends!

2022: Thanksgiving is a short time away and I busy making the menu and taking stock of the changes in our lives in one short year. Members of our family have faced difficult health diagnosis, significant life changes, and personal losses. Some have started great jobs, and another had to retire sooner than expected. Covid has left its mark as one struggles with long Covid. We are anxiously waiting for a family member’s daughter to arrive in the US, to be united with her forever parents. One is on a transplant list and can anticipate the time when the call will come. We are moving toward closure with settlement of an estate, as others plan for retirement, downsizing, kindergarten, and potty training. Each phase of life is important and an opportunity to draw closer together. We will share the losses and sadness as we share the victories and happiness – together!

As we sit around the table Thanksgiving week and reflect, I hope we can all renew our commitment to love, kindness, gratitude, and genuine thanksgiving. Cherish the happy memories and forgive the ones that are painful. You can never say 'I love you' too much and it is always right to be kind.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!"

Donna Hamby


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