Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Time of Thanks

     Ding Ding Ding!
     Ronald Davidson clinked his glass to get the attention of the fourteen people seated in the large dining room. The conversations stopped and all eyes turned toward him. Holding his glass of white wine, Ronald stood up and addressed the entire group from the head of the long table.
     “It’s such a blessing to have you all here today,” he said. “I can’t remember a Thanksgiving when so many relatives and loved ones were able to join us. I know we’ll all remember today for the rest of our lives.”
     The members of the Davidson family smiled and looked at each other adoringly. Even the children were touched.
     “Now,” Ronald continued, “to keep with our family tradition, it’s time for us to go around the table and say what we’re thankful for this year. And since nobody ever likes to go first, I’ll start. I’m thankful for my beautiful wife, my loving children, this house that has blessed us for so many years and for the Baltimore Ravens, who are going to whip San Francisco this evening.”
     The family chuckled and Ronald sat down. His son, William Davidson, stood up from the seat on his father’s left side.
     “I have to say,” said William, who had his father’s eyes and his mother’s nose, “I’m also thankful for my family, and to have grown up in this house. And I’m thankful for my job and my beautiful fiancée Vivian.” Vivian, in the next seat, blushed as he said it. “But I’m especially thankful that the San Fran 49ers would never let a team from Baltimore humiliate them on their way to the playoffs.”
     The comment garnered a few more laughs. William took his seat and Vivian started to stand. Before she could move, however, Ronald was out of his chair again.
     “One more thing,” said the father. “I forgot to add that I’m thankful the 49ers quarterback has never lived up to a challenge like Baltimore’s fourth-ranked defensive unit.”
     He sat down and William got back up.
     “Well,” said William, “I’m thankful that I’m smart enough to realize the Raven’s linebacker sucks so bad that he hasn’t had a sack in three games.”
     Ronald jumped up before William could sit down.
     “Well I’m thankful that I’m not some west-coast-hippie-loving slacker who thinks a kicker who had two field goals blocked last week should even be on the team!”
     “Well I’m thankful I’m not a narrow minded, conservative old fogey who supports a linebacker who can’t even walk across the field—“
     “Ahem,” said a meek voice from across the room.
     The voice was subtle, but it silenced the two men. Everyone turned to look at Great-Grandma Davidson sitting in her wheelchair at the far end of the table. As the oldest member of the family, she held the respect of a king. Her frail figure leaned forward as she struggled to speak.
     “Ahem,” she said again. “I just want to say that it’s a wonderful blessing to see all of you together. I’m 96-years-old now, and my health has been declining, so this will likely be my last Thanksgiving. I hope everyone knows how much it means to me to see that you all love each other.”
     The faces around the table turned back to Ronald and William, who still stood facing each other. Both of the men now hung their heads low.
     Ronald spoke first. “I’m thankful I have a son who’s not afraid to stand up to his foolish old man.”
     William gave his father a light punch in the shoulder. “I’m thankful I have a tough dad who taught me how to stand up for myself.”
     “Aww…” said voices around the room as father and son hugged. Both men were a little teary-eyed when they finally sat down.
     “That’s so sweet,” said Great-Grandma Davidson. “Now it’s my turn. I’m thankful the Green Bay Packers are going to kick both of your asses to the moon when it counts.”

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