The revolving door at Mama’s Empty Nest never stopped spinning over Thanksgiving.
A whirlwind of activity from last Wednesday until yesterday evening kind of left me in a fog this morning, much like this picture outside my kitchen window.
The door rotated open first when Oldest Daughter and Best Beau drove up from the city Wednesday evening. BB made the trip up from one of those states down south to spend Thanksgiving with us…well, mostly to spend it with Oldest Daughter. This one is definitely a keeper, and it has been a blessing to watch their relationship deepen from friendship to something more.
Again the door blew open later that night when Son arrived from his long trek from the state next door. Mama put some finishing touches on Thanksgiving goodie preparations, and we basked in each other’s company until our eyelids started drooping.
Early Thanksgiving morning, Middle Daughter, white scrubs clad and surprisingly talkative and chipper despite having just worked a 12-hour nursing shift at her hospital plus a drive home from the city, pushed open the revolving door. Faithful Fiancé couldn’t join us as he didn’t have much time off from his graduate school studies in the state on the other side of us.
With all of the chicks back in the nest once again, I think Middle Daughter pined a bit for her true love and was too excited to be home with her siblings to want to nap. But gradually she nodded off on the love seat while watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV (another family tradition).
We feasted on turkey and all the trimmings, including Mama’s kids’ favorite, frog eye salad, but not before we each took turns around the table to count and name our blessings, one by one. As I surveyed the beloved faces gathered at the table and listened to each item for which they were thankful, a realization suddenly dawned on me.
Next year, when I carefully position my mother’s china on the Thanksgiving table, there will be more place settings, but more importantly, there will be more beloved faces. Middle Daughter and Faithful Fiancé will be a married couple, so our family will increase by one for certain.
Mama’s also alerted to inklings about more exciting news in the empty nest, so I suspect our family will welcome two others, Oldest Daughter’s Best Beau and Son’s Gracious Girlfriend, sometime soon. As I savored the opportunity to glimpse into the future, it filled me with joy and I silently uttered thanks to the One who ordains our days.
Whoosh! That revolving door swept open again. One of Son’s buddies from high school stopped by for a visit and we all commenced a lively game of Qwelf around the kitchen table. Another spin of the door, and my sister and brother-in-law joined us from their celebration at their son’s in-laws. The table expanded and Thanksgiving morsels spread out once again.
And just as the door brought them in one by one or two by two, the door opened again to allow their departure. High school buddy left first, followed by my sister and her hubby. Son departed to journey to his girlfriend’s family’s home for the remainder of the weekend.
Friday afternoon, more of Mama’s favorite people stepped through the revolving door on their way out. Oldest Daughter and Best Beau exited to drive south for BB’s family Thanksgiving; Middle Daughter ventured westward to visit Faithful Fiancé.
And Mama and Papa were left with a closed revolving door. And oodles of Thanksgiving leftovers. And countless Thanksgiving blessings.
There was no cause for despair though, the door whirled open once more yesterday evening as Son and Gracious Girlfriend visited for a short while on their way back East.
So even though fog crept in this morning, in Chapter 11, Page 28 of my Opportunity book, the love and bonds of family light up my heart and the warmth left there burns off the fog, that misty wrapping of melancholy that once filled the empty nest. The revolving door will once again burst open because this house, even though it’s the empty nest, is home.
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” ~ Alexander Graham Bell