I have this magnet on my fridge that reads, “Blessed are the flexible for they are never bent out of shape.” It was a favorite saying of a friend of my father’s, a weather bug named Charlie. When Charlie passed away, a victim of cancer’s grip, this magnet was handed out at his funeral as a way to remember him with a smile. I go through days and even weeks repeating the words “blessed are the flexible” like a mantra just to get through.
The Thanksgiving holiday is one such time when the mantra is in full repeat mode. I’m a broken record. For weeks the Kisa and I didn’t know our T-Day plans. We thought we knew when we said absolutely and even defiantly, “this year we are in Maine!” Maine. Did that mean Rockland? Monhegan? Portland? Peaks? Did that mean we drove up on Tuesday? Wednesday? Would we buy groceries or eat out? Who’s doing the cooking? Would we pack nice clothes or come as we are? Decisions, decisions with nary a plan in sight. Typical situation. Finally, after much back and forth debate I put my foot down. Monhegan. Wednesday. We cook. Done. I couldn’t remember the last Thanksgiving spent on the island. Plan B was Rockland. Still Wednesday. We still cook. I insisted.
We didn’t count on needing a Plan C. Plan C: No one do anything anywhere with anyone from my side of the family. But, Plan C it was. A gale was predicted so no boats. We couldn’t get on the island and mom couldn’t get off. No Monhegan. No Rockland. End of story. Bags were unpacked. Food not bought. Disappointment heavy on my shoulders I went to bed at four in the afternoon and slept my tears away for the third year in a row.
Blessed are the flexible for they are never bent out of shape. We are flexible. Mom will come here. Not in time for Thanksgiving. Not in time for her birthday. But, no matter. We don’t care. We’ll give thanks a week late. We’ll have cake and eat it, too. I’m already planning the Thank You menu.