Greg and Lisa, (my brother-in-law and sister) are hosting…as they most often do.
The usual suspects are gathered.
Like every Thanksgiving, there’s an extra someone joining us.
In 2007 that extra someone was Greg’s friend since childhood…Richie.
Thanksgiving 2007 was like nearly every other Thanksgiving…
The long tables stretching from the dining room into the living room…the mustard colored tablecloths neatly pressed, table set and homemade place tags set at each plate.
Thanksgiving dinner was delicious as it always is.
And we had our grab bag as we always do…
Thanksgiving 2007 was like every other wonderful Thanksgiving except…
It was when most everyone had gone home and there were just nine of us…sitting around the kitchen table…
Extra someone Richie says…
“Let’s play…who you are, to me.”
Who you are to me?
Maybe we agreed because we thought it was a game…but it wasn’t a game at all.
Who you are to me.
Who you are to me is each person present taking a turn as the “who” and the others gathered tell the who…” who you are…to me.”
There was something about looking across the table and seeing the people I’ve sat across the table from on countless occasions, the people I share nearly every Thanksgiving with and looking at them with the eyes of “who you are to me”…I saw each of them differently, saw their uniqueness, felt the importance of them and my love for them more deeply.
We all did.
It felt a bit strange…and you could almost see and feel the falling away from our collective protective armor…
I love my brother-in-law dearly but I don’t tell him so all the time. And I sure as heck hadn’t given much thought to who he was to me…let alone tell him. But on that night I did. We all did…We all told each other…who you are to me…
And it was squirmy and uncomfortable…there were nervous laughs and tearful answers but we gave into it. We all let ourselves be vulnerably naked and showed one another our hearts. There were words of appreciation and love…I don’t remember all of the words spoken but I can remember and feel vividly…the love.
It’s a Thanksgiving I’ll never forget.
There’s an expression…” talking turkey” and I’d heard it before but wasn’t sure what it meant, so I googled it. On the World Wide Words website this is what it had to say about “talking turkey”:
“…it meant to speak agreeably or to say pleasant things, nowadays it usually refers to speaking frankly, discussing hard facts or getting down to serious business.”
World Wide Words says the definition of ‘talking turkey” has changed over the years…gone from speaking agreeably to speaking frankly and getting down to serious business…
I think it’s both.
“Who you are to me” was just one Thanksgiving. It stands out in my memory because it was the Thanksgiving we ate turkey, and later around the kitchen table, vulnerably showed our hearts to one another…and on that one Thanksgiving night…we talked turkey.
Talking turkey should happen more often…
We don’t much get down to the serious business of letting people know who they are to us, how much they mean to us, the importance of their presence in our lives…
Our most important, deep, serious business and yet we spend more time with one another, speak with one another mostly of shallow. Why do we close ourselves off from so much good stuff? Why do we pick the safety of our hearts silence over the love and connection that comes when we let our hearts speak?
We really should try to talk more turkey.
It’s squirmy and uncomfortable to talk turkey…it means the armor comes off…it means being vulnerably naked and showing our hearts…but it is our most important business…it’s the good stuff.
Let’s talk turkey.
Happy Thanksgiving my friends…