Brea Essex was born in Gilroy, California, called the “Garlic Capital of the World”. She has been telling stories since she could talk. She moved around a lot as a child, living all over Northern California, with a brief stay in Montana. She graduated college with a degree in Medical Assisting. She eventually decided that a medical career wasn't for her, so she began writing her first YA novel, Foreshadow, inspired by her favorite city of the multitude she's lived in: Capitola, CA. She currently lives near San Jose, CA with her husband, their dog and three cats, and enough books to start a library.
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As soon as I walked in the door, my Uncle Tom gave me his usual greeting: “Get over here and give me a hug! Are you too good to give your uncle a hug?” This was followed by: “Did you bring me a pie? I have to hide it so I don't have to share with your aunt!” Of course I handed it over, and he immediately hid it.
It was a great day, despite my grandfather's loss overhanging the celebration. We ate, my aunts sang karaoke, I played Yahtzee with one of my younger cousins. Then, my cousin insisted that we all watch the movie “Ice Age”. My aunts were still singing in the other room, so we put on “Ice Age” for my nine-year-old cousin, myself, and all my uncles.
My cousin got bored and wandered off, but my uncles and I continued to watch the movie. I don't know why it was so entertaining to a twenty-one year old and a bunch of 40- and 50-something men, but it was. We laughed and laughed—and then laughed some more at the aunts' singing.
It doesn't seem like such a memorable occasion, except for the fact that this was our last Thanksgiving with my Uncle Tom. I only saw him once after that, on Christmas that year. I still have the slippers he and my aunt gave me. Unfortunately, he passed away of a sudden heart attack the following September, two days before the one year anniversary of my grandfather's death.
I'm thankful I was able to spend those last two holidays with my uncle. For years, I wondered how I would have felt if I had gone out of town with my father and grandmother. I would have missed Uncle Tom's last Thanksgiving. What if I had broken our tradition and not made the pies? I wouldn't have been able to make up for it the following year. I don't know how disappointed he would have been had I not come, or if I hadn't made the pies...but I know I would have been disappointed in myself for missing it.
So, this year (and every year) I'm determined to make the most of Thanksgiving. I'm going to spend time with my family. I'm going to bake those pumpkin pies that my uncle loved so much. I'm going to sing karaoke and watch random movies. I'm going to create more memories. What memories will you create this Thanksgiving?
Brea, thank you for sharing your favorite Thanksgiving Day memory. I'm glad you were able to spend that last Thanksgiving with your Uncle. Life is so precious and I agree wholeheartedly with your determination to make the most of Thanksgiving and every day with family.
Hope you all can stay and chat with us today. Thanks so much for stopping by!