It’s weird how the most mundane and random things will trigger long forgotten memories. Even if they aren’t particularly bad or traumatic memories.
This year we’re having a small family Thanksgiving at home. We had plans to travel to visit my parents in Ohio, but they changed fairly last minute. As such I scrambled around trying to get our traditional Thanksgiving foods together at the last minute. Neither Hubs nor I really wanted to prepare an actual turkey so I set out to find a turkey loaf.
I remember the classic microwave/tv dinneresc turkey loaves from the Thanksgivings of my youth. Which is what eventually finding triggered my memories of the last Thanksgiving we spent at my grandparents home in Dayton. It was a warmish year, and my cousins and I were sitting out front. I was the youngest by several years so I was playing in the leaves as my older cousins entertained themselves with other games.
I don’t remember if it was before or after the Yellow Sweater incident, where I was accosted by several older kids from across the street as I played in the leaves alone one afternoon. I do remember two kids walking out of the same infamous House Across the Street and approaching my oldest cousin.
It was a huge to do because they were trying to sell him marijuana, he said he wasn’t interested and told his younger sister and I to stay away from them, they were up to no good. I was still too young and sheltered to really understand the significance of the event, but I knew there were drugs involved and that drugs were scary and bad.
After that incident we went inside and ate the last big family meal that I can remember at that small house. Until the house sold and my grandparents moved, we relocated our family gatherings to avoid the growing crime problem in the area.
Fast forward a decade later and another holiday memory popped into my head. It was the last holiday my ex spent with my family. We’d had a wonderful meal together at my grandparents home, and it was one of the only holidays we shared with my cousins and their families. As my ex and I were leaving and heading off to another holiday function he said to me: “I feel like I know your cousin. Like I’m sure I’ve seen him before.”
My reply: “Well yeah. You hung out at the house across the street from my grandparents’ old house, right? My cousins were there just as much as I was. Actually, ironically, you tried to sell to him once during a holiday get together. That’s why I was never able to play out front again. Drugs are bad mmmmkaaaay?”
“Oh… I probably did.”
“You definitely did. Ever the industrious business man.”
“Do you think he remembers me? Does your family know? About… that?”
“I don’t know if he remembers you, but no. I didn’t go around introducing you to my family as the former drug dealer across the street.”
“Yeah. Let’s not. I don’t want to talk about it anymore.”
Of course this year, long after the relationship with my ex fell apart, I’ve gone trough my PTSD recovery and dealt with the various different traumas I endured with him the memory doesn’t have much emotional weight to it. As the years have progressed and things about the past have come to light I don’t even know if what my ex told me about being “the dealer across the street” was true. It was just something that crossed my mind today as I’m sitting here reflecting on the past and all of the things that I’m thankful for.
You see, today also marks 13 years since the fateful Thanksgiving where I almost tried to end my life. It was technically the Friday after Thanksgiving, but the events leading up to it began a few weeks before and came to a pique on Thanksgiving Day 2005.
I’m not going to go into depth right now, I’m busy enjoying my time with my family and don’t want to dig up those old memories anymore than they’ve already been on my mind.
I simply wanted to say that this year, 13 years and lifetimes later, I’m thankful for the people in my past and their roll in my life, even though many of moments we shared were painful. Some of the moments we shared weren’t painful; they were beautiful. Many of those quiet moments didn’t make it into my book. Not because they weren’t important, but simply because editing lol. I had to trim a lot out. No one wants to sit down and read a 500 page book about every day life. 🤷🏻♀️
Anyway… I’m thankful for all of them, the good and the bad. Without them, I wouldn’t be here with my husband and children Christmas Light Hunting tonight.