My granny was a jellied-cranberry-sauce-out-of-the-can kind of lady. Every Thanksgiving as we purchased our stock for the big dinner, she always reminded us to get her can. She was the only one that ate it, and we always teased her for eating it. It just seemed weird to me. The jelly vacuum-packed into a can that took the shape of a can when it came out was just…weird!
In 2014, I forgot to pull out the beloved can of gelatinous goo for her! I hadn’t forgotten to purchase it. But I left it in the cupboard and we only remembered after we were done eating. Granny teased me about forgetting her favorite dish. Not to worry, I told her. We’ll pull it out next Thanksgiving! But it never happened. That was the last Thanksgiving we spent with her before she went to heaven.
The following November, we pulled out that can of cranberry jelly and it sat, unopened, on the table. We laughed and shared memories of her. It was beautiful. And through two moves and five years later, I still can’t get rid of the can. It’s been on our Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter tables every year. Every time I think about throwing it out, the contents long since expired, I just can’t let myself put it in the trashcan. It’s belongs to one of the fondest memories I have of her.
I was unpacking here in Eclectic in September when the can came out of the moving box. I showed Emily, and she took the can from me. I thought she was going to throw it out and I panicked. She looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. “No!” she said. “Something this special needs to be displayed, not hidden in the pantry.” It now sits in my cupboard with glass doors, a prize to look at every time I wander into the kitchen.
This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful that a simple, dented, and dirty can brings me such joy. It reminds me of the strong Christian grandmother who helped raise me and the faithfulness to God she displayed. She loved the Lord and gave thanks for the family that she adored.
This Thanksgiving, I have no doubt that the feast at the table in heaven holds a shiny new can just for her.
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with jubilation; Come before Him with rejoicing. Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courtyards with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting and His faithfulness is to all generations. –Psalm 100:1-5