In many of our houses, we celebrate Thanksgiving, which conjures up all sorts of visions, smells, and laughter it centers on family, friends, football, and fires crackling in the fireplace. People who bring guests into their houses spend hours even days preparing for the festivity gearing up and making things perfect, the decorations are set out, the tables are lined with beautiful runners, the best china is pulled out for the three times of year it is used.  Silver lines both sides of the china plates, the napkins are folded that would make any fancy hotel envious of the creativity of the decorator.  It’s usually a cold day with flurries, as we come in from our travelers, jackets adorned, collars flipped up, hats covering our ears, gloves, and in some cases even scarfs are wrapped around our necks keeping the start of old man winter’s pushing and pulling at the last leaves that have hung on for dear life not wanting to give up their missions.

As I greet friends at the door the heat runs out and the cold rushes in bringing the temperature down if for only a few minutes.  I’m drawn to look out through a frostbitten window at the wrinkled, crinkled colorless leaves, my mind wanders as elders are sitting in their chairs, activity abound surrounds them, crazy, wild excited kids striving for someone’s attention, anyone’s just to be heard. My heart aches, as I look around the room, a man in his 60’s everything I heard growing up is now revealing it. As a child, I have no worries, 10,20,30 years just fly by but not for the people living those times. 40, 50 60 the clock slows down but your mind never does.  You’re a teenager locked in a body that is aging faster than you ever could have imagined, you’re much more aware of your surroundings the selfish you has faded into an observant middle-aged adult or so we hope.

70, 80, 90’s you are seeing life through a time warp, ah you finally put it together, the shivering bodies, the wrinkled, crinkled, aging of our skin relates to the outer shells of the leaves who are left.  I look around the room seeing my elders sitting in their chairs silent, yearning to scream like a child to be heard.

Now image all of this was a dream or even a faded memory, I want you to take a moment on Thanksgiving to remember not everyone is so lucky to have such wonderful settings. Everyone’s Thanksgiving table is set differently but we all long for friendships, conversation, love, human touch, shelter, and food to eat, this year I want to share with you some homeless individuals dinner spreads, friends having conversations, and shelters to sleep.  Please put a pack of socks in your car, make a plate of food, have a conversation, or say a prayer for people who don’t have the life we have.

Thank You,                                                                                                                                                       Tom (The Sok-Man) McNamara


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