Tears on Thanksgiving

From a Google Image Search – Hello Magazine

Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a holiday tradition that finds us either cooking and watching or putting off the frantic last-minute finishing touches on Thanksgiving dinner until after the parade is over. If you must get dinner done in time for football you then you may watch and eat. Sometimes we don’t miss things until we can’t have them. Perhaps you had started skipping the parade altogether because it was hokey or too commercial or you just wanted to sleep in. But then, in 2020 we saw a parade stripped of spectators, lonely giant balloons floating over empty streets, shortened versions of Broadway numbers performed for no live audience, no bands from American high schools colleges or police forces or the armed services to fill hotel rooms and eat in restaurants, to make parents proud, and to entertain us with well-practiced routines. That virtual 2020 parade was a sad parade, but it was a reminder that things were improving.

From a Google Image Search – The New York Times

This year the whole parade experience was back in living color with crowds of New Yorkers lining city streets, masked or not, but looking happy to be there. It made me cry, not sob, just leak a few tears that formed at the corners of my eyes. I couldn’t help but compare these crowded streets with the photographs from the height of the pandemic in New York City with the eerily empty city streets and the shock of refrigerated trucks backed up to hospitals for their sad task. Sorrow was in the air and in our hearts. 

From a Google Image Search – Evening Standard
From a Google Image Search – Tech Times

The sorrow is still there except that the return of the parade seemed so hopeful that I went ahead and watched the National Dog Show. I should have turned off my TV after the Dog Show because after this whole emotional roller coaster of remembering sad and empty NYC and feeling relieved to see NYC back to something resembling normality, after the meditative peacefulness of watching dog owners put their well-cared for pets through their paces, we learned about omicron, a new and mutated form of COVID found in South Africa about which little was known. We were slightly comforted to hear that it seemed to infect people with a less severe form of the virus, and we were frustrated to learn that our vaccines may not be as effective against omicron as they are against delta. We are depressed (one more emotion) that we are still learning or relearning the Greek alphabet and that uncertainty is still abroad in the world. That was a lot of feelings to pack into one Thanksgiving Day when it was easy to be grateful that families could gather for a big feast. We don’t seem quite as freaked out by omicron. We seem more willing to wait for the science. Fingers crossed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: