Memoir Moments: Thanksgiving 2017

By Carolina Bracamonte

For the first time ever, my 82-year-old grandmother, Pilar, came to visit us from Mexicali Baja California, Mexico on Thanksgiving day. During dinner, I noticed that Grandma was not eating. When I asked her why, she said she did not like turkey or any of the traditional food that had been prepared. I suggested she eat the tamales my mother had preheated and she was ecstatic. It turns out that Thanksgiving is not commonly celebrated in Mexico. I am most grateful for Grandma’s honesty about her food preference. We can always count on her honest and sincere opinion about life or about something as simple as food options.

My family members are grateful for Grandma too.

Cousin Ana: Grandma, I remember I would sit on your legs when you sewed and I always felt loved. You have given traditions and values to all your daughters and granddaughters, especially self-respect, what it means to be a woman, how to maintain a household, and most importantly how to be strong. These are the values that have guided me as a woman.

My mother Sofia: Mother, I am grateful to you for all you have taught me about life and the cooking traditions. Some of the fondest memories I have about you are in the kitchen. I also have memories about your teaching me to iron my uniform. I always remember that we all had chores. We respected the values you instilled in us through chores. None of us gave you attitude. This has taught me to do everything without complaint and to be “strong and brave.” You always told me, “al mal tiempo buena cara” (a good face to bad times) and “si no saves bailar agarra un moledor.” (If you don’t know how to dance grab a masher.)

My brother Edward: I love you Grandma and I am happy you are here to spend this tradition of gratitude. My most treasured memory is that I slept with you as a child and you always gave me love. That’s my most special memory.

Mi papá Eduardo: Yo siempre pienso en usted cuando pienso en el sentido de la confianza. Usted siempre me brindó su confianza cuando yo era un joven y empezaba a tener un noviazgo con su hija. Usted siempre me acepto. Las puertas de mi casa siempre están abiertas para usted y quiero que siempre usted esté agusto. Le agradezco por darme a mi esposa y le pido a Dios que siempre le de muchos años de edad a usted. Hoy es la primera vez que pasamos el día de acción de gracias juntos y me siento agradecido por esto.

My father Eduardo (translated): I always think of you as giving me a lot of trust in allowing me to date your daughter when I was a young man. You always welcomed me. I always welcome you in my home and want you to be comfortable. I thank you for my wife and I ask God to give you many more years. Today is the first time we’ve spent Thanksgiving with you and I am also grateful for that.

Send us one Thanksgiving Memoir Moment–a photo and a few words about your special Thanksgiving this year.