I've had Thanksgiving dinners served on paper plates on cardboard trays in cafeterias full of unbathed people with tangled matted hair all mumbling their "thanks" - (I suppose.) Mumbling something anyway. I've had thanksgiving dinners when all I would allow was a slice of wheat bread (with margarine--to celebrate the special day) while perched on one of those cafeteria benches myself. While I thought of Thanksgivings past. When my brother, Wes, and I would stay home while my parents went to the early morning church services that day and we, armed and dangerous with school scissors and Elmers' glue and construction paper would create marvelous creations: Pilgrims and "Native Americans" (although we wouldn't have had a clue what a Native American was if you'd have asked us; they were just "Indians" of course) and we would create paper replicas of that first Thanskgiving spread here on American Soil where the Divine Shone his approval from above.
And while we scissored and pasted and laughed, (and argued); we would watch the legendary Macy's Day Parade wending it's way down 5th Avenue with the massive floats....no smart mouthed fat boys like Bart Simpson then to ruin the good vibes of the day...No, daddy's hoisted their clapping cheering tots to shoulders to best see the incredible flying Snoopy and to be the first (maybe) to catch a glimpse of Santa's sleigh as it appeared and to be the recipient of a smiling ((promisory?) wave.
Then, uh-oh, a car wheel crunch on the gravel drive and slamming doors scurried us into action. Sweeping all of the paper and gluey shavings for safe keeping under the couch, we scrambled to set up our staged feast of multicultural equanimity onto the dining room table where in a few short hours it would jockey for place with cranberry sauces, rolls, "The Bird", stuffing, potatoes, green bean salad etc etc. But for now, there it was , center stage in all its pageant glory.
All this was recalled, (maybe), on those bench straddling days. And it was recalled again on days of IV drips and Oxygen tubing tangling its way between plastic fork and mouth as I ate, - again on cardboard tray, this time graced with a napkin with a Turkey wearing a pilgrim hat wishing me a "Great Gobblin' Time" as I gratefully ate the first meal in months that differed from the normal seven days of choices over and over for months.
This year, I narrowly was spared that. I was discharged yesterday from the medical hospital...came home to a chaotic house of laundry and disarray, Sinks full of dishes, piles of chaos in my room where I'd hurriedly packed on Sunday Now facing perhaps the oddest Thanksgiving Day of them all. And being extremely grateful for my family - or parts of it anyway who are gathering to surround me with protection as I wobble once more on the edge...and am according to my prayer chain "very confused and needing some help in managing." Makes me wonder what I've done to deserve such fame and recognition??