Better Toast

I said, “I’m so hungry.“ 

I should have said, “I’ve been hungering for this moment for almost two years.”

I said, “I love this place.”

I should have said, “This beautiful borrowed house, someone else’s property, with its unfamiliar rooms, yard, and neighborhood, is proof that what makes a house a home is the people inside.”

I said, “All of this looks so great.”

I should have said, “How lucky are we to circle a Thanksgiving table together, with more than we can possibly take in, with one of us celebrating his first and another celebrating her ninety-first.”

I said, “Who are we missing?”

I should have said,  “Each of us here is missing someone important, a father, a mother, a sister, a brother, a husband, someone who couldn’t make the trip or someone who’s passed and left us yearning.”  

I said, “Where do I sit?”

I should have said,  “Maybe this year we leave one chair empty.”

I said, “Thank you all for being here.”

I should have said, “Thank you for getting boosted, for wearing masks, for squeezing babies into cars, for risking crowded planes, for shuttling a great grandmother, for setting aside your caseloads and your class notes, and for creating this incredible feast.  Thank you for letting me see your faces across a table instead of across the wires. 

And thank you for those of you who are with us only in our memories.  We feel your presence in the stories we tell and in every lull in the conversation.  We treasure the moments that have passed as much as this new moment.”

I’m grateful for all that I had and all that I have.  

I just wish I had some moments back, so I could say what I really mean.

Great grandchild finally meets great grandma.

11 thoughts on “Better Toast

  1. What a beautiful slice capturing the reality of gathering – especially after the past few years. I think we should all use your words “thank you for those of you who are only with us in memories” those are some powerful words that we should all take to heart. We gather to be together but also to remember. Thanks, as always, for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a moment and what a sentiment. I needed to read that today even though that wasn’t the reality of my Thanksgiving at all. I am so happy it was yours. I hope that sometimes others can feel what is in our hearts even when we don’t say it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this so much. I’m learning more and more that it is worth it to feel awkward and embarrassed, to risk saying too much, to get called too emotional. You don’t get that many chances to say what you mean, so I try to take them! Ruth,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, that sweet photo of their first meeting! Thanks for sharing that.

    Sometimes, I feel as though my family will think I’m corny if I say all that I wanted to say. Too often I bite my tongue. Your post makes me realize I need to stop doing that. It’s okay to be sentimental.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh. Oh, this. This is what I needed to read this morning, what I needed to hear. Thank you for articulating this, for reminding us of what is unsaid and for allowing us to include those who are not present. Thank you for the photo. And I’m really glad you got to see your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Writing…the chance to revise and say things better, and to preserve them. Your reflection made me smile a bit – made me think of different translations of the Bible, like the rich, lyrical flow of King James compared to something modern and spare. It was all in your heart and that’s what matters! That photo itself speaks volumes…sometimes there aren’t enough or adequate words to express the depths of one’s love and gratitude.

    Liked by 1 person

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