Last week Rebecca and I had a turkey flying around our kitchen. It wasn’t the first time.
OK, so it wasn’t a live turkey. And it wasn’t so much flying as it was being held aloft and guided through the air by a pair of hands.
You see, since the early ‘90s, part of the Thanksgiving tradition for our household has been what we’ve started calling “the flying of the Thanksgiving turkey.” Before the turkey is prepared to be roasted, I carry it and “fly” it around the kitchen, usually manipulating its wings so they appear to flap.
Yeah, it’s a bit odd, but the reason I do it isn’t.
On the eve of a Thanksgiving day in the early ’90s, when Rebecca and I lived in Radcliff, she related to me a memory she had of her father. When Rebecca was just a child, her father would take the Thanksgiving turkey and “fly” it around the kitchen, eliciting laughs and smiles. It was a fond memory of hers, and she expressed such warmth while recalling it that I realized how special it was.
When I heard about the tradition, I asked if she wanted me to continue it. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what I expected her answer to be. Maybe I didn’t expect anything in specific because I could see equally how someone would want to leave the tradition as part of a memory just as I could see someone wanting the tradition to be kept alive beyond memory.
A smile formed on Rebecca’s face as she told me she wanted me to continue the tradition.
I’ve continued “the flying of the Thanksgiving turkey” every year ever since then.
In recent years I’ve even videotaped it and posted it on social media. It’s a fun tradition that we enjoy sharing.
The thing about the tradition is that it is one way we can incorporate a special memory of a loved one in an annual holiday. That makes the holiday even more special.
Incorporating memories of loved ones can be as easy as using certain cookware during the holidays. For example, we also use a turkey roasting pan that reminds me of cookware my maternal grandmother used. In turn that reminds me of my mom.
Both Rebecca’s father and my mother have passed away.
Even though we carry their memories with us at all times, having tangible reminders of them makes any occasion much more special.
So, while “the flying of the Thanksgiving turkey” might seem a bit odd to some, for us it is more than an amusing activity.
It is yet another link to a loved one.