They say that inside of every fat person is a thin one waiting to come out. There are no sayings about how the two of these people are at war with one another. I can’t decide whether I am a fat person dying to be thin or a thin person dying to be fat. I think I am stuck in a surreal land of in-between that most women are: neither thin nor fat and not satisfied with my body or my diet. I woke up this morning determined to fast...and then I remembered it was Thanksgiving.
So I write today, a thin Mediterranean woman taking a break from preparing a Thanksgiving feast typing with a cup of espresso and glasses on – only to catch a glimpse of my reflection: a plumper version of my mother.
I write in true Thanksgiving.
Today I celebrate an American holiday in South Africa– a land that doesn't have a decent frozen turkey to roast, dried bread cubes to purchase or Bell's Seasoning. This place has become my home. I take a break from my usual teaching about the holiday to say that I am thankful.
I am thankful, I am thankful, I am thankful.
I have had an amazing life.
I remember the first time I went to a drive in movie and saw the beautiful multi-colored fairies of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty descending an imaginary staircase from the sky. I remember my prom, my graduation, my first stick shift and falling….
I remember the day I gave birth to a boy who was perfect and born with white skin, black hair and blue eyes - I came to life myself on that day. I remember meeting Mario – a chiseled, beautiful man who was golden all over. He should have been attracted to a blonde supermodel, but he fell in love with me. I remember his kids, fun and beautiful and too easy to get along with. I remember giving birth to a pink little girl, a day so etched in my memory I can still sfeel her tiny hand in mine. I remember oodles and oodles of friends, laughter, countries, Mount Kilimanjaro, tears, grief, grandchildren and God.
I remember the day He made me beautiful, transformed a weak and spindly-legged fawn into a powerful princess filled with approval and love. I remember the day I felt empowered to tell others the secrets of His love.
In all of my memories I can say that I remember grief and joy out loud, the emotions that I've always felt full-force, the way He’s made me feel them.
A tom turkey is a colorful, flamboyant creature that is noble and lovable. It’s almost a shame to kill it and eat it, but it is a delicious bird, most recently domesticated and bred for the holiday feast. I never got used to the idea of tofurkey – the tofu substitute of the Tom. It’ll never do.
Today I am thankful that God’s grace has no substitute. There is no counterfeit that even comes close to the feast that is the Father’s love. I am thankful that He is a master planner. He made me- like a tom turkey - on purpose -designed to be a blessing. He sees me as just the way he made me -delightful.
For this I am truly thankful.