By Jedediah Bila –
I was recently asked by a media colleague to share my single favorite Thanksgiving memory.
I immediately recalled the image of my grandmother chasing my grandfather around the kitchen table with a turkey baster that one year in high school. Hey, when I told you I had a crazy Italian family, I meant it.
In my sophomore year of college, I got very ill on Thanksgiving, probably the sickest I’ve been in my life. A telephone call from my best friend, which lasted six hours, turned out to be one of the best conversations I would ever have. Life, love, friendship–you name it, we dissected it…while inhaling turkey on both ends of the telephone line. Another call later that evening from the soon-to-be first love of my life made my fever, chills, and body aches seem not so bad. I think I even ventured downstairs for some leftovers.
Then there was the year in my early twenties when I decided I was going to do just as I had promised so many times and spend my Thanksgiving on the beach in Miami. My friend and I ate turkey clubs–extra mayo–while watching the sunset, then danced straight through Black Friday on a rooftop while sampling cranberry cocktails.
And, of course, there was the Thanksgiving when my parents and I found a litter of abandoned kittens while walking to a nearby bakery. We scooped them up and I ate my turkey dinner while bottle-feeding six adorable little faces that I later wrapped in a blanket and rocked to sleep. Their meows made my night.
I could go on and on about Thanksgiving memories, and the truth is that there isn’t one in particular that I treasure most. However, all of the ones I hold dear have something in common–simple, hilarious, warm, out-of-the-ordinary days and nights with the people I love most. This year will be no different, as I embrace food and laughter with my best friend, the same best friend with whom I dissected life, love, and friendship on that college Thanksgiving night so many years ago. This year, however, my munchkin will be close by.
Each of my favorite Thanksgiving memories has reminded me how much I have to be grateful for–friends, family, pets, love, the roof over my head, the food I savor, wonderful conversations, and so much more. Isn’t it amazing how lucky we feel when we take the time to think about everything we have to be thankful for?
I wish you and your families a very happy, healthy, wonderful Thanksgiving.