It has been a family tradition in my daddy's family for many years, to grind and boil sugar cane as a family to make cane syrup for the year on Thanksgiving or the day after. It is quite a sight to see my family all gathered together watching all of the men of the family drive a tractor around a grinding post repeatedly, sifting the cane juice, and boiling it for hours while it is continuously stirred. The sweet aroma in the air while everyone is talking and laughing and the children run and play; this is the birth of new family memories to share the next year.
My father was the baby of six siblings. He passed away suddenly last year, and his birthday November 23rd, of course, fell on the most appropriate day of the year to remember his presence - Thanksgiving Day. Being there with his family and knowing that he had been here all of those years before began bridging the gap for me between where he is in heaven and where I still live on earth.
This year his birthday falls on the day after Thanksgiving. We will all be there standing around that huge boiler laughing. If you could be there and listen closely, you can hear my daddy laughing with us.