An excerpt - Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers to the south!
As they sat down for dinner she thought of all the television movies she had seen that had focused around Thanksgiving dinners. The hostess always seemed to give a heartfelt thanksgiving toast that ensured there would not be a dry eye at the table, or among the viewers.
She wished she could do this tonight, but she knew from past experience that whenever she tried she would choke up.
So tonight she just raised her glass and thanked them all for coming.
But then? Then he suggested they go around the table and say what they were thankful for. Nothing elaborate he said. Just a word or two.
So they did. He started saying he was thankful for his children, then the next was thankful for the pension they had just begun to receive. Another was thankful for sunny days, and another for being accepted into a training program. One of the guests jokingly said they were thankful for this home-cooked meal, and the person to her left said they were thankful for the peace they experienced.
And then it was her turn.
“I am thankful it is not November 30th today.
She then quickly raised her glass and they toasted Thanksgiving. There were a few puzzled looks around the table, but she kept her head down and began to eat. It was delicious, if she did say so herself, even the brussels sprouts. She had a second glass of wine. She knew she would pay for it tomorrow, but tonight it seemed like the right, and only, thing to do.
By eleven all the guests had left – for some it was a workday tomorrow.
She did the dishes. She liked this part after a dinner party when she filled the sink with warm soapy water and reflected on the evening while she washed and dried and set everything to right again. The morning after a dinner party she liked to walk into a clean kitchen, make coffee, and relax into the memories of the night before.
She headed to bed just after midnight. The cat was no-where to be found what with his earlier bath and then all the people invading his space. She knew he would forgive her by the time his stomach reminded him he had missed a meal.
Suddenly she remembered the quote – It was attributed to Winston Churchill, of all people, “When you are going through Hell, keep going.” Yes, that was it. She didn’t need Google after-all. It was a blessing and a curse to have been an English Literature major all those years ago.
Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
It wasn’t rage she needed, and it wasn’t acceptance. What was it?
She lay in the darkness and started to give thanks, saying what she wished she had said at the dinner table, and after she was finished she recalled the line from Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales.
She wasn’t sure why Dylan Thomas was speaking to her tonight – but she accepted that her angel was trying to tell her something.
She said some words to the close and holy darkness.
And then she slept.