What I’m thankful for…

For Thanksgiving, we went to Grandma’s niece’s husband’s sister and brother-in-law’s house.  in other words, we were with family!  We follow my cousin pretty much wherever she and her husband go during the holidays.  They are the only relatives we have in the Northeast, and it’s to far and too costly to go “home” to California.  Anyway, it was the fifth time we’ve gone down to Connecticut to K and M’s house for the holiday.

This year I discovered something I never knew about K (the brother-in-law).  He had known Martin Luther King Jr. back in the day and had even marched with him.  During the “I Have a Dream” speech, K was able to squeeze his way into the fourth row, right up front. He was a classmate of MLK’s and had even been invited to King’s wedding.

K told me about how “when you go into a situation like what we faced, you have to have a plan and know the plan before ever setting foot there.  People just don’t know what it will feel like or be like when the violence starts or when the threatening presence of the police officers sweeps in.  It’s absolutely necessary to have a plan going in.”

He related a story about one day going into a cafe with a mixed race group and sitting down together to be served lunch.  They were hungry, plain and simple.  But they couldn’t just go get a bite to eat.  They had to have a plan. Ready for trouble, they finally filed in and sat down at a single table, black and white friends together. The waiter just served them their food.  Nothing happened.

At first, I was dismayed by the story, a little annoyed.  I thought, well, at least you could have gotten put in jail.  No beatings?  Bah!

Then I caught myself and realized how utterly ridiculous my reaction was.  It is because of people like K. and MLK, white and black together, that such blatant discrimination is no longer allowed.  As K. put it last night at dinner, sitting there loading his fork with a big bite of apple pie, “I’m sure you’ve already heard it, but it’s true. King marched, so Obama could run.” Then he spoke about how on election night his tears could not be stopped.  K. marched, too.  He helped make a President Obama possible.

So that’s what I’m thankful for on this holiday that is dedicated to gratefulness.  I am thankful that the sacrifices of so many for so long have at last come to this pass, that it is indeed possible for an intelligent and capable man whose father was black and whose mother was white to be elected to our highest office. Because so many marched — including a sprightly, elderly white man with a big fuzzy white beard, who just happens to be my grandmother’s niece’s husband’s brother-in-law — on January 20 we can give thanks for President Obama.

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3 Responses

  1. Gee, this is so profound. It makes my being thankful for a table we could actually sit at for Thanksgiving seem so ….

    Just kidding. What a neat story. It must have been really interesting listening to him tell about his ventures. While I agree of the opportunities these people brought about with their courage, the jury’s still out here on whether to give thanks for Obama (and it has nothing to do with color).

  2. Yeh, he’s not as progressive as I would like, but he’s a heck of a lot better than what we’ve been getting the last eight years….

  3. Hi writinggb,

    Thanks for your comment at mysteryoriley about Dave’s lefse-making day. The lefse turned out great! Thanks for the recipe. He may never be the same. Although lefse was a tradition in his childhood home, he’d never made it for our extended family until this year.

    We could hardly keep enough of it for Thanksgiving dinner, because those of us who participated, kept eating it as it came off the grill. He’s making it again, the weekend before Christmas. I’ll keep my camera more protected this next time. I spent an hour cleaning it up after he threw flour at me when I made a derogatory comment about his technique (I hear that’s part of the tradition – the “assistants offering commentary”.

    We ate it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and ultimately, the BIG meal. Can’t wait for the repeat at Christmas.

    Here’s wishing you and your family the very best of the holidays!

    L.

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