All posts tagged: #thanksgiving

Comparison Game

My first job out of college was at a Chicago homeless shelter. They provided drop-in services on cold winter nights and a year-round residential program for recovering homeless addicts. I did donor relations and lived in a crowded apartment above the shelter. I was invited to hang out with the residents whenever I wanted, including daily breakfast downstairs before work. Every morning, 13 residents would get up from the tables to form a circle in the warm cloud of Cook Lula’s spicy potatoes and onions. The tallest resident would boom, “Hook up the cables! I need a jump start!” We joined hands and closed our eyes. They thanked God for their warm beds and the roof over their heads. They thanked God for Mr. Jay and Mr. Brian teaching them how to stay clean and get jobs. Then one morning one man earnestly prayed, “I thank you, God, for the use of all my limbs.” Everyone nodded, murmured, and moaned their agreement. Never, ever in my life had I passionately thanked God for the use …

Not Yet (Thanksgiving)

The best Thanksgiving I ever had was in 1994. I’d finally been kissed by the man of my dreams the night before. After months of writing letters overseas, he flew home and invited me to Thanksgiving dinner. I met his whole family, his closest friends, and his grandma who forlornly asked, “she’s not Norwegian at all?” My heart raced when I caught him looking at me across the room, and when he held my hand under the table. I was falling deeply in love. I was thankful. Several years later, the man of my dreams cooked a huge Thanksgiving dinner for our friends. We had a great time laughing, drinking, and admiring Chris’s culinary skills. After dinner we all went around the table to share what we were thankful for. One friend drew a tiny circle on a piece of paper, pointed to it, and said, “I’m thankful for our baby, who’s about this size in my belly right now.” We all clapped and cheered. Then 5 minutes later another couple announced their pregnancy. We clapped and cheered …