Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, probably my favorite holiday of the year. My early memories play like an 8 millimeter movie with my mother in the lead role as she valiantly carried the enormous turkey to an overcrowded table. The cast remained the same over the years, revealing style changes and age as it crept up on mom and all the supporting players.

For me it was a gift since time couldn't pass fast enough to make me believable as I lied about my age. In those days I could often get away with adding four or five years if I sported the right clothes and hairstyle. Needless to say, I'd willingly give those back now, but without benefit of a plastic surgeon's knife, the only person I'd be likely to fool these days would be me.

My mother, weary from the burden of producing a huge meal for extended family and friends without any help, was exhausted and it showed on her face as she placed and replaced serving dishes to make room for the mountain of food we consumed as a group. My father stood at the head of the table sharpening his carving knife and grinning from ear to ear as he prepared to perform surgery of his own on the poor departed turkey.

I remember animated conversation, laughter and the clanking of glasses as toasts were made, one after the other. And though it's been many years since the family gathered, disappearing one by one, they remain with me today in the theater of my mind. I warm in the glow of the love shared at that table and I'm grateful for the many gifts in my life.

Tomorrow, when I join my own family at an overcrowded table I'll smile and I'm sure my mother will be there to see us, even if just for a moment. For those of you spending this special day with your loved ones, enjoy it all, and for all of you who are less fortunate, I'll hold you in my thoughts.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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