So, last year on Thanksgiving I had a bowl of beans for dinner. It was all I had. One bag of lima beans that I soaked overnight and seasoned with salt. Couldn’t afford pepper. At that time in my life I had no hope. I had no knitting needles. I had no promise of a job. I had but the clothes on my back and my little cat, Mario. I had but George and Kara as my companionship, they both going through financial a madness of their own, they had not a lot more than I did for Thanksgiving. But, on that day, one year prior to now, I was THANKFUL for that bowl of lima beans. You see, I waited until Thanksgiving to have them. That’s how bad things were. I WAITED until Thanksgiving to cook them knowing food was scarce and hard to come by. That bag of beans was all I had and God knows I was thankful for it.
Here it is one year later and I have so much more to be thankful for. And though I had an invitation to spend Thanksgiving with Kara and her family this year, I politely declined and said, “You know? I think I’m going to have lima beans.” There was no queer look from Kara as to why in the world I’d forget turkey and stuffing for lima beans. She knew.
In the past year I’ve been able to thrive in ways I couldn’t have ever imagined. I have friends I’ve met from all over the world, friends whom I don’t even know what their voices sound like, but hear their whispering support in my heart often. I’m still struggling for a spot to live long term, but at least now I have hope, which is something strangely missing a year ago. This year I’m thankful for the souls that have come to smile as they’ve buy my bears and find the sad eyed dears at their doorstep. I’m thankful for an army of divine eyes who peek dearly on this blog to see if I need anything, whether it be food, or a simple hug, or words of encouragement. I’m thankful of a talent, my knitting, a talent that has given me some income to which I can brighten and widen my eyes and remember, “I can survive. Now, I know I can….”
This year, sitting alone, I’m having lima beans….and collards (I do so love them), rice and cornbread. As the shelter downtown announced it had an increase of 48% attendance this year at their Thanksgiving dinner, I felt a simple dinner was right, made sense. Made me feel content. Maybe this will be my new Thanksgiving tradition. A simple meal knowing that I have hope, love, support….and there are others who don’t. There are others who are alone. I want them to know that I’m having dinner with them. I want them to know I’m here. They aren’t alone. In thought, if its all I can give in return to pay it forward, I want them to know I’m here….having dinner with them.
I could not have found this paramount of hope had it not been for all of you, my friends. SO! While having dinner I’m going to watch the Golden Girls. Don’t laugh 🙂 Those insane ladies always make me laugh. They never did a Thanksgiving episode, but there is a Christmas episode that is poignant for today. If any of you out there are reading this, have something simple to eat today, and are by yourself, then kick back, eat a little dinner, and watch the Golden Girls with me.