I am always filled with a feeling of longing on the day after Thanksgiving.
The experience was so intense and meaningful, so satisfying, that I want more of it. Like a drug.
No one should have to work on the day after Thanksgiving. If you do the day right, you need another day to absorb the emotion, process the memories and slowly bring yourself back up to "reality". (?) When you have an especially stupid, soul sucking, dead end job like mine - and millions of others - the contrast is almost too much to bear.
I was not able to control time yesterday like I typically do. Somehow on Thanksgiving I am able to slow things down and experience the day at a languid pace. I am always surprised and pleased with how slowly the day goes by.
Not yesterday. Yesterday flew by. Everyone was gone by 7:30 and I was stunned. I don't know what happened but I do know that I enjoyed it.
My first impression was artistic. All the pieces were in place and I sat down in the recliner with a short but civilized whiskey to get my legs under me, to grease the path to joy. Awaiting everyone's arrival. I glanced over at the table so beautifully set by Carol and caught the sun angling in and glancing off the bottle of wine that was sitting there. Something about the wine and the sun and the quiet appealed to my sense of beauty regarding this day. If I had the talent I would have painted it.
I won't bore you with the details but everyone showed up, the day moved along smoothly, the meal was perfect, laughter and conversation vibrated my soul and I smiled more inwardly than with my face.
I sit here now with jangled nerves hungering for more of that purity and instead have to anticipate in a couple of hours going to a job that strips me of any shred of humanity.
We performed a potentially fatal experiment yesterday and got away with it. We engineered a personnel trade. Jaxon for Karen.
Our family vibe is pure and natural, it is strong and easy going. We have a family environment that functions like that of a successful sports team. All the pieces fit. To remove one piece and replace it with another is exceptionally dangerous.
We got away with it. Jaxon has always felt like a third son to us, realistically or not. A close friend to my sons, he has been in our life quite a bit. He plugged into the equation effortlessly and the day was magnificent.
This is not to say we didn't miss Karen. We did. A LOT. In fact, had she been there as well I think the roof would have blown off the house from the sheer power of family excellence. Would have been an interesting experiment.
I was hit more potently than usual with the fate of our military personnel. They always show groups of people overseas in hostile countries, gathered together and wearing football jerseys. Cheering and shouting. It hit me that these are the people for whom Thanksgiving means everything. They are the ones who make it possible for my family to get together without any fear. They are the ones who are furthest away from their families, both geographically and emotionally.
They smile for the camera but I'm sure their Thanksgiving celebration is painful and subdued. At least on the inside. I have spoken recently about how watered down our holidays have become. I have always felt that Veterans Day should be a day when everything stops, everything shuts down. It should not be celebrated in a half- assed way as it is now with corporations deciding if their employees get the day off or not. Putting that decision in the hands of greed mongers and employee condescenders highlights everything that's wrong with America.
One more sobering thought. CBS aired a piece on Jerome Harrison. He was a football player who last October got traded from the Lions to the Eagles and during the routine physical was diagnosed with a brain tumor. A tumor that would not have been discovered had he not been traded. I remember writing about him with amazement at how life can turn on a dime.
What I didn't know and found out yesterday was that the surgery to remove the tumor was more difficult than expected. and that the next day he suffered a blood clot in his brain and had a stroke. He was declared a quadriplegic, had paralyzed vocal cords, was trached and had a feeding tube.
Since then he has been working hard at rehabilitation and is able to walk, he can talk and be with his family. Doctors say he is an inspiration to other rehabbing patients because of his work ethic. I am sure that ethic is a reflection of the work ethic he adhered to to become an NFL player.
I wrote about this guy a year ago and then completely forgot about him. Until yesterday.
You can't keep track of everyone and everything but you would think the things that fire up your emotions would stay with you.
We are moving too fast. We don't have the time or the focus or the energy.
In consideration of all that, I am over the top happy at being able to celebrate Thanksgiving the way we did yesterday. It was precious. It was inspiring. It was honest. It was pure. It was a day that gave me life and made me smile and allowed me to be human all the way through.
If your day was as good as that, I hope you have today off to allow that beauty to marinate your soul. To make it a little tougher so it is properly armed to fight the good fight.