Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Every year for the last thirty-four years we have eaten Thanksgiving dinner with family. I've written extensively about this in the past. I loved those meals and the fellowship with our extended families. Many of these kinfolk we only see on holidays so spending a few hours with them was always a joy.
Today was different. Our nephew James Phillips called us a few weeks ago and asked if we would be interested in helping with a Thanksgiving meal for the community. It was not only for the needy, but for folks who had nowhere else to go. James envisioned people from all walks of life sitting down at a table together and breaking bread. He writes for the Daily Mountain Eagle and he had written a column in the paper about his Thanksgiving idea.
When he asked us to help, neither Jilda nor I hesitated...we both said we wanted to participate.
Patti, a lady from a small church near Cordova read his column for the first time that day, and was touched. She and her husband usually spend Thanksgiving at the beach, but after reading the column, she decided to stay in town and help with the community feast.
Last night, James' wife Andrea had a problem and she was admitted to the hospital this morning. James paniced. He called Patti and she swung into action and took charge of the event. It went off without a hitch.
There was enough food to feed a multitude. We had a pretty good crowd that showed up to enjoy a good hot meal. Being in the presence of a group of people who give of themselves felt 'right'.
One of the guys that showed up to eat had obviously lived hard. He was articulate and I knew at once there was more to him than met the eye.
Jilda and I sang a few songs and the guy listened respectfully. A little while later, he stood up and sang an old Gospel song a-capella. The power and quality of his voice made the hair on my arm stand up. He finished the song to rousing applause.
When he got through eating, we sent food home with him so that he could eat tomorrow. He thanked everyone and as he walked away he sang "Farther Along." I was blown away!
I am so thankful that we decided to help with the community feast. The only thing that would have made it better is if my nephew James and his family could have been there.
I am also thankful for all my family and friends. My wish for everyone is that they have a remarkable holiday.

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