More Than Just Turkey

In the chaos and hustle of our daily lives, this week I was reminded that life is so valuable, exceptional, and diminishing as it can flash before your eyes, quickly, suddenly, never expected.

Meet Quincie. A young nurse. Single mother of two beautiful children. She works when she can, every shift she can, in order to put food on the table, clothes on her children, and hope in their hearts. She boards the 5:46 AM train, every day. If she misses it, she is late to work. Her two kids are all dressed ready for school, backpacks and lunches slung across their bodies, proud to be alive. One day she is running late, she misses the train, and she fears the worst: losing her job. She sits, waits for the next train as her kids run wildly around the terminal.

Meet Char. A subway train operator. Married, no children, but she is established in her community as “Mom”. She works the nearby train station window, always positive, always a grin across her face. She notices Quincie has arrived late to the terminal, but as much as she wants she cannot stop the train. She leaves her post to comfort the woman and gives her a hug. In addition to her sweetness, she also gives Quincie, the young mother, three passes to get Thanksgiving dinner free of charge.

Quinicie smiling, hugs Char back, and calls her children over to thank Char for the warm, kind deed. Her children each exchange a hug, and Char returns back to work.

Meet Tom. A 57 year old jewelry store owner. Husband, father of three kids. He was out at Monday lunch and on his way back he stops at a light, waiting for the cross light to read WALK. A girl was next to him, he looked at her, she looked back, and in the matter of seconds he was on the ground.

Meet Me. A 22 year old graduate student. Runner, lover of warm weather. I was out on a routine run when I stopped at a stop light, waiting for the cross light to read WALK. A man next to me looked at me, I looked back, and he suddenly fell to the ground. His breath, gone. His consciousness, fading. Me, suddenly panicking, calmed down enough to dial 911, check his pulse, and scream for a doctor. Lucky for me one was nearby and performed CPR. Emergency services were able to stabilize him, Tom survived.

During this Thanksgiving week, not only should we be thankful for every single person in our lives, but we should be thankful for small moments surrounded by good people. The warm hugs of a free meal and the warmth returning into this unknown man’s hands are just two examples of optimism seeping out of this, at times, cruel world. Be thankful this week, and always, as it is more than just turkey.

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