Friday, November 23, 2007

lessons learned over turkey

1) nothing is more humbling and appropriate on thanksgiving than to serve those who are without family as well as your own. i spent time with my great-aunt didi and my great-uncle george at their church yesterday, feeding those in the community who were alone. it is how they have spent every thanksgiving for the last 40 years. i have much to learn from them.
the moment, though, when i felt most thankful was when i escorted my aunt didi, who has trouble walking now, to the bathroom. one of my favorite childhood memories is of spending the night at my uncle george's house in miami, and aunt didi teaching me how to dry off in the bathtub (crazy, i know). later that day i wrote her a letter asking her to be my second grandma because my father's mother passed away right after i was born. she doesn't remember a whole lot these days, but she does remember that letter. spending time with and being thankful for her and my uncle's enduring presence on earth reminded me of the family i have lost over the last few years, and how many people i have to mourn.

2)on a completely different, completely shallow note- the beyonce experience: live gave me a whole new appreciation for ms. knowles. she works it out on stage!

3) lastly, and back to the serious, if there is any proof that being from the streets is not glamorous, it is my new york family members who, after a lifetime running game and hustling, are just old men before their time. they huff and puff, and have strokes (at 50, mind you), and still try to play the "game." they live their lives through some of their children, mainly the ones that have followed in their footsteps, while espousing pride in those who have taken the lawful road. they're tired, and sick, and still trying to beat the system because it's all they know. they seem to feel my family and i have sold out and i used to feel bad about that; now i see that sometimes "selling out" is the only survival option.

my turkey day was long and full of good food. i hope yours was good, too!

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