“Six Thanksgivings” (aired on NBC November 20, 2018)
Kaitlyn and Skylar,
Happy Thanksgiving. I wish I could call or write you let alone spend Thanksgiving with you. However, I am unable to do so and not for want of trying over the years.
Last night, NBC aired its Thanksgiving episode, entitled “Six Thanksgivings.” To my surprise, two of the six Thanksgivings featured Miguel.
The first was a flashback to Miguel’s first Thanksgiving after the divorce, which he spent with the Pearson family. Miguel is greeted by Jack as he enters the Pearson home. Miguel is on his cell phone and is clearly having a “difficult” call — he has been told by his ex-wife that his children cannot break away from whatever activity they are doing to speak to their father on Thanksgiving day. Miguel is clearly hurt and distraught by his ex-wife preventing him from wishing his children a happy Thanksgiving. In fact, when he sees the Pearson family having a warm family moment around the dining room table, Miguel has to excuse himself. Jack consoles Miguel, and tells him to be strong and that he can overcome this difficulty just like all the other major challenges he has overcome in his life.
The second was Miguel’s present day Thanksgiving. We find out Miguel really has not overcome the alienation from his children following the divorce and its effects after all these years. He basically has a very limited relationship with his grown children, being invited to Thanksgiving because their mom is not spending it with them this year. His adult son is very rude to both Miguel and his wife, Rebecca, at the dinner table. His son appears to be angry, upset and bitter towards his dad for the things his dad “had done to their family.” His son even accuses Rebecca of stealing “his” father from “their” family.
(But, this is not the truth. Rather, it is the lie the son and his sister were told years ago that “became” the truth for them as children and carried over to adulthood. As mentioned below, quite the opposite took place many years ago. His mom left Miguel, divorces Miguel and remarried long before his dad began his relationship with Rebecca. More on this below.)
With his son’s false accusation, Miguel has had enough and explains how hard it was to try to keep his children in his life. He mentions “I was lucky if I got an email back from you” and that at some point he just “gave up” trying. Miguel goes on to say, “Look, I tried to be a good father and you wouldn’t let me — take shots at me but leave my wife out of this.” He reminds his children that he and Rebecca did not get together until well after both the divorce and their mom had remarried. At this point, Miguel’s son appears to feel chastised while his daughter seems to empathize — knowing both the false truth she and her brother have held against their father all these years and that her father speaks the truth — as she reaches out to hold her father’s hand across the dining room table.
Kaitlyn and Skylar, I miss you. I tried to be in your lives. Not as a distant relative you do not know or have a relationship with except at holidays, birthdays, weddings and funerals. But, as your dad. Maybe you will see this post and watch the episode, or maybe you already have. If and when you do, I hope it speaks to you. Your dad loves you and wants nothing more than to be in your life as your father.