I originally created this post 3 years ago right after my Mama’s stem cell transplant. It is still one of the most bittersweet times for me, because my Mama loved Thanksgiving and this southern dressing recipe. I hope many of you will enjoy it as much as my family does too!
The feelings I wrote a couple of years ago are below and are still accurate. Though many days are easier, not a day goes by that I don’t miss my Mama terribly.
Southern Dressing Recipe For Thanksgiving
Last year I wrote a post when I shared this recipe for southern dressing for Thanksgiving the first time. I can’t bring myself to just “update” that post and delete any of the content like I would normally do. Previously, I shared about my mama’s illness, transplant and recovery. I don’t want to forget any of it. So I am reposting it this year with a completely different post. Because really everything is different
It is hard to believe that it has been over 8 months since my mama passed away. If I am being honest, it still doesn’t seem real. I know that everyone says “It gets easier”. And maybe it does, but I am not sure I want it to get easier. Will that mean that I don’t miss her as much? That is a terrifying thought for me.
To be completely transparent, I am so tired of hearing that she is in a better place or that she is happier and would not come back to Earth. The logical and Christian side of me believes that and understands it; but the human side and the daughter side of me that misses her, well, it is sick of hearing it.
Everyone grieves in their own way. And I think that it takes shape and evolves in many different ways throughout the course of the process. At this moment, I am caught in the misery of it all and the anger of it too. There are days that I just want to curl into a ball and sob all day. For a week or so at the beginning of November, I feel like that is what I did. I cried because she did not get to see her little grandkids dressed up for Halloween. I cried because she wasn’t here for Hope’s 16th birthday. Heck, I even cried because I just wanted to vent and she wasn’t there for me to call.
You see, my mama had a way of letting me get everything out of my system and not being judgmental about it. She would not act condescending about things either. Ultimately, she would always give me good advice and make me feel better. She just had a way about her. And she always knew exactly what to do and say.
And then there are days that I would like to throw a hissy fit and break some things. I am well aware that my mama would not want me to feel that way, but I can’t seem to help it. On some level, I feel like I shouldn’t say this, but I am so mad. Everyone tells you the “socially acceptable” things to say about grief, but I don’t really wanna hear them right now.
I don’t particularly want to celebrate Thanksgiving and I especially don’t want to celebrate Christmas. If one more person tells me “Your mama would want you to be happy and enjoy the holidays”, I think I might scream. Mama probably would want me to be happy, but I also think that she would understand the way I am feeling too. I am sure it is part of the process, but I am just flat out angry. It is not a secret that I am not the only person to experience loss or grief. It sounds super selfish of me to even be writing all of these feelings. But, I can’t really change the way I feel at the moment.
The Good-Thanksgiving Traditions
A year ago, I filmed this YouTube video because I wanted to document how my mama made her southern dressing or Thanksgiving. I begged her to be in the video with me and help me make it, but she was camera shy. She was on sidelines and watched me, while interjecting comments out of earshot of the camera. I really wish that she would gotten in the video. But I will be forever grateful that I have her recipe documented.
I had planned in January or February to redo this video this Thanksgiving. It was my first YouTube, I was nervous and fumbled around a lot, but I don’t think I can ever re-film this one, because it is too personal and I love that Mama is here with me, even if you can’t see it. I hope you watch it and make her dressing this Thanksgiving like me.
I am so thankful for each of you that take the time to stop by my blog and read it. Additionally, I know that I am struggling right now and I really do appreciate each and every one of your prayers and kind words. I know this post is more brutally honest that some I have written in the past, but I try to be real with you. I am walking through this journey and just sharing my heart, even if it seems bad and ugly at times.
Mama’s Southern Dressing Recipe
- A pone of cornbread, staled for a day or two
- 4-5 leftover biscuits, staled for a day or two
- 3-4 pieces of stale loaf bread
- Pepperidge Farm Cornbread Dressing Mix (One 14 oz bag)
- 1/2 lb high quality breakfast sausage (I buy mine here)
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 1/2-3/4 stick of butter
- 1/4-1/2 cup of onion, chopped (put as much or as little as you personally like)
- 1/4-1/2 cup of celery, chopped (put as much or as little as you personally like)
- 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1 32 oz carton of Swanson Chicken Broth (or you can make your own broth)
- Poultry Seasoning (to taste)
- Salt and Pepper (to taste)