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.


  1. And I wish you a command-less happy holiday as well. As usual, it always is what it is. What’s always true is that I send love and blessings to you. Viv.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing Sherman’s thoughts with us on this Thanksgiving Day, dear Ruth. I especially appreciated his allowing the practice of wishing that folks be happy but not making that a command! My wish to you is that this be a good day for you and that you allow yourself to feel all that you do feel!

    Sending love to you, whatever is it that is on your mind and in your heart.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. During holidays, I am reminded of the Norman Rockwell paintings. Of course, it is never like that. Was there ever a painting of women preparing large meals, serving it, packing away the leftovers and doing the dishes afterwards? – if there was, I haven’t seen it. When I was growing up, I was always stuck in the kitchen while the men went into the living room to talk politics and current events. I felt I missed out on some interesting conversations. Those are my memories of family holidays.

    Ruth, I am grateful for your friendship and your blog. I hope you had a very good Thanksgiving.

    Liked by 1 person

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