A family gives thanks via Zoom

Ed Forry

Some of the Forry family found a way to get together on Thanksgivng Day by setting up a Zoom virtual meeting.“It really adds so much joy to the day,” said Peg Sheehan from her Connecticut home. 

by Ed Forry

Boston Irish Publisher

The traditional gatherings for Thanksgiving were only distant memories this year, as the need for enforced isolation was cause for a certain level of melancholy. Although we could not be together on Thanksgiving Day, I was able, thanks to Zoom, to connect with my sisters, Mary, Brenda and Lois, and members of their families, three generations connected by computer screens and smart phone video across the digital divide. 

My daughter Maureen set up a Zoom conference and we sent out the word to my sister in Andover, my sister-in-law in Georgia, and my cousin in Brighton, inviting them to meet online at one o’clock that day. “This way we can all get together, at least remotely, on Thanksgiving Day,” I told them. “It will be a unique and interesting way to see each other and spend at least part of the holiday together.”

Some other generations of the family logged on from their own homes. Lois was joined in her Gainesville, GA, home by her two daughters, while her grandchildren checked in from Atlanta. It worked better than we had hoped; we wound up having a dozen connections with family members in Georgia, Connecticut, Newton, Brighton, Dorchester, and Andover. 

And typically, we didn’t arrive all at once; some were late in checking in. The session began with just two of us, and then a third logged in, and then a fourth, and one by one, as new arrivals logged on, we were seeing them as if they were just showing up at our front door, coming in to join us for a Thanksgiving reunion.

When my Atlanta niece and nephews appeared on screen and were introduced, some of these cousins were meeting each other for the first time. “It really adds so much joy to the day,” said Peg Sheehan from her Connecticut home. 

This strange holiday season is something we hope we’ll never have to live through again. The inability to come together and connect in person with family and friends on the holiday adds an extra strain to the almost nine months that we have been living in our own isolated versions of cocoons. But everyone seemed pleased to make this brief holiday connection, and we resolved to try it all again for Christmas.