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.