Last year, Nick and I were living in our rented apartment together, and we hosted our first Thanksgiving there. Due to the pandemic, it was a very small gathering. It was just us, my parents, and my brother. Since my parents had survived covid and hospital stays with covid to boot, we were all extra cautious and left windows open, wore masks while not eating, and generally tried to stay 6 feet apart from each other. To say it was a weird Thanksgiving is an understatement.
To top this off, instead of getting a turkey at the store, we decided to make it extra special and order a fresh farm turkey. The name of the farm that had great reviews and was close to us? You guessed it. Shepherds Farm. As in, Don Shepherd. It was even spelled the same way. Thanksgiving was Don’s favorite holiday. He loved it because it was “gathering with family, friends, watching endless football, incredible food, and no gift stress!” Oh, and he loved my mom’s homemade apple pie. The turkey from Shepherds Farm was so good last year – mouthwatering, really – that we have ordered up another one this year from them. Im going to pick it up Monday, and I will probably laugh once again at the idea that Don will be spending his favorite holiday with us in this very strange way.
I know you think I have lost my mind. Dont worry. I havent. I DO NOT think that my husband is a rainbow, nor is he a Thanksgiving turkey. But the idea that the farm shares his last name, and that its his favorite holiday, and its plastered all over their big trucks that I see often, and that having a turkey from Shepherds Farm makes me instantly think about Don, his love for Thanksgiving, and what an amazing person he was and is – I kind of love that. I love that hundreds of people all over the world who have heard my rainbow story THINK OF DON whenever they see a rainbow, because he is not a rainbow. So they think of him and they laugh, or they snap a photo of the rainbow and then send it to me, and then I laugh. I love that when I pulled up to the farm last year, not knowing the name of it ahead of time (Nick just told me the address of the place where he ordered and I put it in my gps), I laughed out loud and said: of COURSE its called Shepherds Farm. Why wouldnt it be?” I just love finding any and all reasons to think of him, have a laugh or a smile, and carry that forward into the rest of my day.
My husband is not a Thanksgiving turkey or a rainbow, but he IS still alive in so many ways, as long as I continue to make it so.