The first Thanksgiving without Mom


The holidays are here and it all begins with Thanksgiving.

Since Mom passed away on Oct. 5, I’ve been looking for a starting point, a reboot if you will, in an effort to return to normalcy. I’ve discovered there isn’t really such a thing as starting over. Coping and taking things one day at a time is the best way to move forward.


The ongoing and seemingly never-ending pandemic hasn’t helped matters. The fact that the virus took my mom from us and how things transpired during the final few weeks has been the biggest part of my frustration.  

I just don’t understand it all, but God does.

One of Mom’s favorite things to do was to cook, especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas. She always prepared a feast and more than what was needed. She even had a stash of to-go containers handy for the leftovers.

One of my favorites was Mom’s homemade pecan pie and banana pudding. I’ve scoured through Mom’s pile of cookbooks trying to find the recipes she used and I’m really not sure which one it was. I did find my late grandmothers homemade jam cake recipe and will someday give that a try. During the past couple of years, she had taken orders for her jam cakes and loved baking them.


I admit, I’m really not much into jam cakes, but I may have to change that, simply because it’s many of the desserts that my mom made that she took pride in because she used her mom’s recipe and perfected it over the past couple of years.

At Thanksgiving, Mom always made Mamaw’s homemade stuffing — the dried kind — and she really was good at making homemade dumplings, also another favorite not only for me, but for the rest of the family. There usually weren’t many dumplings left over and everyone usually got a second helping after the first serving.

Because of the missing link in our family and the ongoing evil virus, things will be much different this year and we’re not even sure as a family how to proceed, especially since Mom was the glue to everything.

But, whatever we decide, Mom will be with us within our hearts and we will be forever thankful for the good times we had with her, especially during the holidays.

As we celebrate this year — a year that has been unlike any other — don’t take the times you have as a family for granted. I’m glad I didn’t.

Happy Thanksgiving!

KEITH TAYLOR is the sports editor for Kentucky Today.


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