First I have to say there are many wonderful, happy memories of Thanksgiving, I hope that no one thinks I'm just telling the sad times.
November of 1981 was a stressful and sad time especially for my Mom. Her mother had died in March of 1981 and her Dad was in poor health. He had a stroke in late October and was in the hospital for two weeks. He died on November 14,1981.
Thanksgiving we knew would be sad. My brother and his wife went to have Thanksgiving with her family.
My Dad knew how tired Mom was after being at the hospital so much. He said there was no need in her cooking a turkey for just the three of us. He said we would go out to eat. Eating out on Thanksgiving!! What a strange thing to do, I know lots of people do it now, but in 1981 it just wasn't that common.
Mom, Dad and I went to Shoney's to eat. I just felt like crying through the meal. Looking around at the people, most were older people, a few young people. There were probably many reasons the people were eating there and not with family. The first Thanksgiving without my grandparents was probably the saddest.
I remember telling Mom and Dad, "I will fix Thanksgiving dinner next time. I just don't want to eat out on Thanksgiving." I don't think that it bothered Mom and Dad like it did me.