Welcome to 2TheHeart!
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy
ANNOUNCEMENT: I have received just a few letters from kids for our essay contest, so I am extending the contest until next Tuesday. I got several letters from people who needed more time, so here ya go! I will also share my own story then and the letters from kids. Today we have a short story from Mike Segal, a 2TheHeart fave! I pray that your Thanksgiving is blessed and peaceful.
“THE PERFECT THANKSGIVING MEAL"
by Michael Jordan Segal, MSW
I can still imagine the scents and the tastes: steam coming from the crispy brown skin of the 25 pound Turkey bird, sweetness from the marshmallow covered yams, whipped mashed potatoes covered with gallons of thick gravy, and oven baked rolls as well as pies.
As I was envisioning that perfect Thanksgiving meal, a smile came to my face. That smile became even broader as I remembered watching football games on TV after the meal. Well, even though those memories are nice ones, they are not actually mine. They might have been my “hallucinations" of what a perfect Thanksgiving would have been like growing up. See, my parents got married on Thanksgiving over 40 years ago. My mother stated she refused to cook on her anniversary. That meant no oven browned Turkey; no mashed potatoes; not even any yams. Millions of mothers were busy cooking for their families on Thanksgiving; however, not mine. Mine was busy preparing for her anniversary, "and that meant NOT cooking dinner.
Growing up, I always felt “deprived" at Thanksgiving time. While other families were sitting around their dining room tables with a beautifully stuffed bird in the middle, my family always ended up at the same empty Italian restaurant ordering the same large cheese pizza. I always felt cheated near the end of November; I always felt “ripped off."
However, that was many, many years ago; well before I “matured". Now, I realize what the true beauty of the Thanksgiving meal is. Whether it’s at your dining room table, a pizza parlor, or anywhere else in the world, the beauty of the Thanksgiving meal is having family and loved ones being together with each other. Looking back at my Thanksgiving meals with my family at the pizzeria, I guess they were all special.
The turkey does not make the Thanksgiving meal; the people do. Well, that and a good football game.
©2003 by Michael Segal; all rights reserved
Shot in the head during a robbery, Michael Jordan Segal defied all odds by first surviving and then returning to college. He then earned two degrees with honors, married his high school sweetheart, Sharon, and became a father to his daughter Shawn. Mike is a social worker at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston and an author (currently he has two book projects he's working on: an autobiography and an anthology of his short stories). He also is a very popular inspirational speaker sharing his "recipe" for recovery, happiness, and success. Please visit his website, www.inspirationbymike.com or call, toll free in the USA/Canada, 1-877-226-1003 for more information.