Thanksgiving is the biggest family holiday of the year.
I got that from no less an expert than a TV reporter. I have this 5-year-old grandson who would disagree. More than likely, he thinks Christmas is the biggest day of the year by any measure.
This is one smart boy. Having lost a bottom front tooth last week, he hung bells on his door and hid his newly shed tooth hoping to catch the Tooth Fairy in the act. I have it on good authority, however, he is a sound sleeper, and the Tooth Fairy came and went unseen.
Regardless of where you place Thanksgiving on the family holiday scale, it will be smaller this year because of the coronavirus. This virus is right up there with a drunk uncle and salmonella for spoiling a turkey dinner.
The CDC tells us we shouldn’t travel for Thanksgiving or attend any big family celebrations.
Could it be any worse? Yes it could, and it was. Not only did we have Trump vs. Biden for president, in Georgia we now have Ossoff vs. Perdue and Loeffler vs. Warnock in runoffs for two U.S. Senate seats. That means political ads will spoil your Thanksgiving weekend football games.
People keep griping about how miserable 2020 has been, but I’m grateful.
I’m thankful I still have my mother who turned 90 in August. I wasn’t grateful, however, to make the call Friday to tell her we won’t be coming up for Thanksgiving. She hasn’t seen her two great-grandchildren Benjamin, 5, and Isabel, 2, in months.
She lives with my sister, Glenda, who has done all she can to keep our mother well, and I don’t want to risk her health. If she were to get sick, how would you know how. Vonette, whose mother is 80, and I agree it’s better to not take a chance.
I’m confident it’s going to be better by Christmas, and Glenda said we’d do a combined Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. I’m all for that because Thanksgiving has better food.
But I was also confident it would all be over by summer. The one thing I can’t stand about the medical experts is their annoying tendency to be right as they were about COVID-19’s fall resurgence.
And for everyone who said it was all just a big ruse to beat Trump that would be over the day after the election? Apparently not.
When it comes to politics, it’s going to be a tumultuous month between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Democrats want us all to get together behind their candidate and unify as one nation under Biden. Not a chance. I figure a lot of Republicans are going to act like the Democrats have about midnight on election day of 2016 when it was clear Trump had won. “Not my president,’’ and worse, they said.
It matters a great deal who’s in the White House and Congress. But I worry more about who’s left at the table when my family gathers.
The coronavirus has diminished a lot of families and shrouded this usually wonderful holiday in grief. On the same weekend as my mother’s birthday, we attended a funeral for Vonette’s uncle Devant Kelly, a wonderful man who is missed by his children.
My heart goes out to everyone made sad by the coronavirus. When I give thanks for my blessings, I’ll pray for their comfort and, eventually, their joy.
Speaking of votes, the Glynn County Commission may have an important one coming up.
The county’s Memorial Veterans Park has a big, black granite obelisk with the names of 177 Glynn County citizens who died defending our country from World War I until now. Of those, 111 died during World War II, a war that saved civilization, liberty and the American way of life.
In his final days in office, Commissioner Bob Coleman wants to add another name and, undoubtedly, it would be written larger than any others, which are etched in letters less than ¾ of an inch tall. Coleman wants to name the park for Robert M. “Bob” Torras Sr. who died March 24.
There are several things wrong with that beginning with the fact that Mr. Torras survived his service as an Air Force pilot.
Secondly, when the Glynn County Commission was planning what may be the most impressive public space in the county, Mr. Torras attempted to tamp it down. He submitted his own plan in which the property would be turned into a parking lot to serve downtown business interests. His plan did include a monument to veterans on the Newcastle Street side of the asphalt, but it was woefully less impressive than the park we, the citizens of Glynn County, have now.
And third, the park should not be named for any one person. It should continue to serve as a monument to all those who served and especially to those who died. If Coleman wants to name it for someone, however, he has the names of 177 worthy people to choose from. He should pick one and submit that name to his fellow commissioners.
Bob Torras contributed to the community and may deserve to have something named for him. But when it comes to the Veterans Memorial Park, there were 177 who gave more for their country and this community. You can’t give more than your life. Some died wading ashore into tracers, on ships sunk by torpedoes, in jungles as mortars whistled down, charging across No Man’s land between trenches or in plane crashes. They can’t speak for themselves but if they could they’d probably decline the honor and recommend naming it for someone else on the monument. Who is to say Bob Torras wouldn’t do the same?
There are two things we can hope and pray for, that the name remains simply Veterans Memorial Park and that the lists on the monument to the dead stops with 177 names.