12x16 Resin coated with glitter and metallic copper
I just woke up to my mother yelling " Tom what are you doing with all this mayonnaise you have out on the deck?!" yep. Happy Holiday. - Thanksgiving Day 2011.
Thanksgiving Day was a zoo when my Dad was alive. The best kind. In the midwest, in November the entire outside serves as the second fridge. Member after member of the family would arrive carrying giant tin foil-covered plates - blasts of cold November air behind them. I can still feel that air, hear the voices overlapping each other with the faint crinkle of tin foil.
My Dad always went to Kohls and got himself a new sweater vest and collared undershirt. Thanksgiving Day was the only day of the year he would wear slacks instead of work pants, jeans or shorts. Without fail though he would lay out each sweater vest and undershirt on the king-size bed right before everyone arrived and ask my sister and I which ones to wear in nervous anticipation. We of course never picked the same combination. That’s having two daughters for you right there.
Both of my parents were and are extremely hard workers. My Mom has worked 9 hours a day six days a week my whole life. My Dad - 12 hours a day on his FedEx route delivering packages. Thanksgiving Day was the day where they both could take their work ethic and use it as a gift for the entire family.
After my Dad passed, for years the holiday was unbearable. Then my Auntie, then my Grandfather all passed a year later. I couldn’t stand that I didn’t understand what I had until I didn’t. It was all I could feel. I guess that’s what grief is.
The best memories of my Dad though, no matter what time of year it is - are the snippets of instances I can still feel and see clearly with all of my senses from Thanksgiving Day.
I think that is why the painting radiates and glistens the way she does. The tablecloths on all of the tables 50 of us would have dinner on, packed together in my mom's house - were all of these colors. So when I look at this canvas, those snippets of time and senses are all I can feel. It still hurts, but I guess that’s the cost of getting to have the memories. For the first Thanksgiving Day in 8 years - I am ok with that.