The turkey sat on the center of the table—cooked turkey, that is. We all gathered around the table, standing in a circle, holding hands and inhaling the aroma of freshly roast turkey.
“Lets go around and say what we are grateful for,” Dad said, invoking our tradition.
“I am grateful for my health,” said one.
“I am grateful we are all together again,” said the next in line.
“I am grateful I made it through another year without crashing my car.”
“I am grateful that we have a president who is making America great again,” Sam said.
Dad cleared his throat and nodded to the next in line to go on.
“I am grateful that there is at least one person in this room who has the courage to say it as it is,” said Samantha.
“I am grateful I don’t live in the same house as you-know-who,” said Jerry.
Dad coughed, cleared his throat again and breaking the cycle, took over. “I am grateful….”
“Dad, you are out of turn. I am next, and I am grateful that we kicked out those ‘you-know-who-all out of the House,” said Anna, raising her voice.
“And I will be grateful when Nancy Pelosi becomes speaker of the House,” said Artie, pounding the table. The turkey quivered.
“O.K. everyone, lets just eat,” said Dad.
“We are not done being grateful,” said Mike. “I am grateful I brought my boxing gloves.”
“I am grateful for the carton of eggs in mom’s fridge,” said Mary.
“Times up. Lets sit down,” said Dad, sounding exasperated.
“I am not sitting next to Samantha.”
“I am taking my food in the kitchen.”
“I will eat on the porch. I’d rather freeze than sit next to this turkey,” Samantha glared at Jerry.
“I am going to carve the turkey,” Dad reached out for the carving knife.
“Which turkey?” Everyone quipped.
This didn’t happen; but it could. Probably has. Perhaps not as vitriolic. Will we one day go back to being one family with many shades and colors—one hub, many spokes, all moving together, to get to the same place—to the warmth of family.