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Hi guys..just getting home from my day at the vfw..annual free thanksgiving dinner..This morning I awoke at 6 am ..hoping for one last shot at getting home to see my dad for thanksgiving..only to be disappointed to find it was already snowing..but while I watched the weather..I caught the add for this vwf dinner..and the phone number..so I called the lady..figuring, what the hell..If I go work this thing, I can be reminded of how lucky I am...and not sit here killing myself with pity..
So..I arrive at the vfw..11am..I sit in my car with hesitation outside the building, unsure of what was to happen inside..I have never been there..and had no idea what I was in for...after a few moments..I figured..fuck it..who knows is right...I can do this..I get out of my car, the same time the car next to me has arrived, and this older lady is getting out of hers..which was good, that way I had someone to walk in with..ends up shes alone, been volunteering at this for 9 years, as it gives her something to do on thanksgiving...AND...they give us free food! Turkey!
I walk into this grand room, beautifully decorated..the kind of place I am sure they rent out for banquets etc..14 large round tables were set with white table clothes, and poinsettas..
So I follow her outback, meet the 2 ladies that have put this on for the last 10 years, and am pleased to find they are simply hanging out smoking butts waiting for the crowd...it was like sitting with a pile of grandmothers..only they drank and smoked cigs..and best of all...talked about themselves..as I didnt want to answer any questions on why I was there..out of the blue..and lucky for me..they never asked..wise I suppose..I find older women know what questions are best unasked..
Time comes to set up the rest of the dining room and get started. Ends up the 2 girls I was in the dining room with, had no idea what they were doing. The daughter and granddaughter of one of the women putting the thing on...had never helped, or set something up this large..I, on the other hand, do this for a living..so it was cool..as my expertise came in quite handy.
Up until this point..I had infrequent tears, swells in my eyes..thinking about my dad, my family...all the years Id spent with people that arent even alive now..but I decided to keep moving on..no point in thinking about that..I had things to do.
Next, the turkey picking..25 turkeys..hot..fresh out of the oven, ready for us to pick apart..this was cool..but I have to say the best part of turkey picking was this lady "edie"..she was across from me, picking her turkey, and her husband stood to the side watching us...At one point..Edies husband sais to her.."now if you get tired I want you to sit down"..I watched him as he said this, the total concern for his wifes welfare painted on his face..these 2 have most likey been married at least 50 years...and I dont know..something about his care for how she felt...
The bus arrives...now here we have everything from homeless people, shut ins, poor families, firefighters, the elderly, veterans, you name it..Now in the past years, the lady informed me, people just went up to the bar to get there coffee and sodas..and this year she wanted them to be able to sit and relax, feel special, and get waited on...well...just so happens..I informed her..I can dance that dining room like nothing you have ever seen, just leave that part to me...I have waited on everykind of people out there...and I have to say..to see these people..some dirty, some clean, some homeless, others just alone..poor families..they were so thankful..I treated them as I do anyone I wait on..went to there table over and over..the look in these peoples eyes..they are the unfortunate..they are the underdogs..the nobodies..the teenagers that have nothing, and go to school as outcasts..these are the people you and I can pray everynight to never become..but they were so sweet, so full of gratitude at the simplest actions. Here I was doing what I do everyday..second nature really..but for once..I was getting something way more valuable than someones idea of what Im worth as their servant..I was getting the sincere thanks for what appeared to these folks as going out of my way..for the "likes" of them..The veteran boys begged to tip me..calling me "sweety"..commenting on what a great waitress I would make...The same actions I do everyday to survive in this world, were the ones making these people feel special for a day..At the end there was even a black man at one of the tables that said to me in broken english.."ma'am, why are you so kind? why are you doing all of this for me?"..The seconds after he said that I looked at him and thought to myself..why am I doing all of this? And thats when I realized..I do this because its what my dad does..I learned to be kind from the man, the subject, that brought me to this exact spot on this day...as for his answer well..luckily he followed up with a marriage proposal..haha..so I didnt have to give him an answer..I want to add the best bonus of the days work was all the hot succulent firemen that came in...well okay..they werent all "hot and succulent"..but I dont know..the word "fireman"..well..it just makes me all warm inside..Anyways, I finished the day never stopping..continued to work right through..skipping the breaks, as I found that for the first time in years, well basically since the last time I did this type of thing, which, at one point in my life was my idea of purpose and what my reason for living was..I felt whole..I felt good..I felt a familiar joy inside..One I hadnt even noticed I was missing..
The moral of this story guys..well..I woke up today miserable..wondering what the hell Id done to deserve such a crappy deal..missing out on a meal with my family..all to end up finding a new family..I will return every year from here on out..the odd thing is..my father is ill, and when hes gone, I have no one left really..and always wondered what I would do when that happened..what it would be like to be alone on Thanksgiving day..I dont even have to ask God why this went the way it did, as I see now, he was only providing me with something no invite to anyones house out of pity could ever give me..and for that folks..Im thankful.



Comments

The following comments are for "Thanksgiving lesson."
by girlchez11

a nice thought
I realy did enjoy this essay. It is always a wonderful thing to be able to help other people; something many of us don't do often enough. There was some confusion about your dad and family. You could have provided more information for us, the readers. You know all about it, but we don't. The other thing I have to bitch about is the heavy use of elipses...after all, they just don't need to be there so darn much. Otherwise, you wrote an honest and heartfelt account; such sincerity is truly refreshing.

( Posted by: brickhouse [Member] On: January 8, 2006 )

Yes,
I have been through many critique on the other forum. I realize my wrong and apologize. Please just ignore it, as I won't be on this site much.

When the time comes that I am, I will have been perfected.

And, thank you. :)

( Posted by: girlchez11 [Member] On: January 8, 2006 )





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