I was wanting to connect with you today but not sure how to address the complicated strands of emotions that run through such a holiday. Then I read Sherman’s words and knew he had said them for me.
“Happy” Thanksgiving by Sherman Yellen
I had a very odd father who, from time to time, would demand that his children be “happy.” He seemed to believe that a serious or, worse, mournful face, was a comment on his ability as father to make us happy, earn a good living, buy a piano and the lessons that came with it.
So the demand to be “happy” has never been one that I could take too seriously. I think that the right to sadness should have been written into the “bill of rights.”
That is why I have a suspicion of all holidays that demand happiness of us. You know the guilty parties — Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and birthdays — all wonderful times to be happy but equally good times to be sad, because they evoke the past — the longtime family lost, the childhood with so many hopes gone into the ether.
Still, given a choice between wishing a friend — and you are all my friends — a happy or sorrowful Thanksgiving, happy will win all the time — as long as it is noted that it is not a command to be happy, not an obligation, but my wish that you have a joyful day.
So Happy Thanksgiving it is, even if it took me awhile to get there.