A few days before Thanksgiving, I took a train from San Francisco to the suburb of Pleasanton. It was one of those mornings that signal Thanksgiving is near—a cloudless sky, temperatures bracing enough to warrant diving into the coat closet to locate a scarf and gloves, and the sight of fallen leaves swirling in a neighborhood park as I walked to the Bart station. A billboard loomed above me, advertising a turkey dinner for only $39.99 at Marie Callender's.
I love the week leading up to Thanksgiving because of the anticipation of my family coming together again. I love the reminders on T.V., on radio, and on social media to be grateful for what you have and hold because it allows me a moment to close my eyes and thank the Universe that my house echoes with laughter and joy again.
However, this year as my family gathered around the Thanksgiving table our mood was somber. In what has become an eagerly awaited tradition, every sibling, every aunt, every uncle, every parent, every grandma, every kid articulates what “I’m thankful for this year." We sat down to dinner, the room full of the smell of curry and cinnamon pumpkin and around the big oak table we went, each taking turns to remember the year’s blessing.
“We are all blessed to have a home and a warm bed tonight, our families together, “ began my brother, clearing his throat. “Let us remember the people in Paradise, who lost their homes and their loved ones,” he continued gravely.