Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful


Christmas
has always been
a bad time of the year for me.

I think
that it has
something to do
with my childhood.

False expectations.

Disappointment.

Hope beyond hope
that always failed.

Depressing.

Thanksgiving
has always
been better.

No cards.

No gifts.

Just being
with family
and friends
for some good fellowship
and good food.

For many years
I personally cooked
Thanksgiving dinner
for as many
as 80 people
in my home.

The diners
were the local workers
at the grocery store
down the street,
people from my church
and yes,
my friends and family.

Many of the people
I did not know.

Many did not work
at the store
or go to my church.

Many were people
who just needed
a place to go
on Thanksgiving.

I still run into
some of the people
on the street
and they will
remind me
that I fed them
Thanksgiving dinner
one year.

I do not
remember them
or their face
or their name
but they remember
the meal.

I would always start
about four in the morning
and continue serving
until eight or nine
at night.

The truly remarkable thing
was that I seldom ate.

I seldom
sat down.

Straight through
until everyone was fed.

As time went by
the tradition ended.

As time went by
we went
to a local buffet
in a hotel.

Still nice
but not the same.

Now
the immediate family
gathers in my wife's room
in the nursing home
and we eat take out
from the local grocery store.

It is not the same.

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