I remember vividly the look in my mother’s eyes on those nights when she would tell me beautiful lies. The most frequent lie in my youth she told me was “Son you eat, I’m not hungry”. She would say this with a straight face as she would give me a portion of food that was meant for her mouth. Instead she would simply watch me eat while asking about my day. Providing substance in both the physical and mental. I knew what was going on but at such a young age I could not fully comprehend it. She was helping me flourish at the detriment of herself. Another beautiful lie my mother would constantly tell me is that “It will be alright.” I call them beautiful lies because they came with hope. Michelle Dennis didn’t want the world to destroy her son. I saw things no child ever should have to witness. There were just times she couldn’t always watch over me and I was raised by elements outside of the home. I was a product of my environment like these street lights on late nights was a torturous assembly line. I am not the only one we all have had low points in our life. When I had nothing I always had family and friends, I will take that over materialistic things always. We had nothing together. I never went too far into the darkness. I’ve had just as many angels as I’ve had demons by my side in this life. And I have been beyond fortunate to have had more friends than enemies so far in this journey.
These are thoughts that came to me on a Thursday afternoon as I was celebrating Thanksgiving sitting around a table with one of my best friends and his girlfriend’s family. Grandma across from me reading inappropriate things from Cards Against Humanity. No one willing to tell her what it means, so she utters “I will look it up on the computer when I get home”. Were all having a night she won’t dare discuss with the women she plays bridge with once a week. I had these thoughts while thinking about all of you. All the people I know will read this and some of the ones who won’t even though I wish you would.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Not the history of it or what it represents just for me personally as a holiday I partake in, it is my favorite. Its filled with nostalgic memories of my Pop Pop and all my family getting together sharing a feast and I felt like maybe I could never have another care in the world. A lot has changed because that is how life goes, it constantly changes. My Pop Pop passed and now I live on the other side of the country from most of my family. Still Thanksgiving is now my favorite holiday because the last 5 years I have spent it with friends who have become family. I’ve walked in houses and left with memories and stories only made in homes.
I am creating bonds with people my future children are going to call aunt and uncle even though no blood is shared between us. These people I am thinking of are more blood to me than some humans I share DNA with. I say all this to say in the sincerest way I can “Thank You”.
Family is not a place for strangers and not a place you let just any eyes get a behind the scene looks at. So truthfully thank you especially to the past women in my life and guys who are like brothers who became west coast family spending holidays like Thanksgiving and even a few Christmas with me.
The ones who I consistently share a meal with. I am fortunate to have crossed paths with some truly amazing people who care about me in such a way that I know my view in life will always be filled with those I love.
I like when my worlds collide when friend groups mesh or when my friends come to my house on the holidays and try sweet potato pie instead of pumpkin for the first time. Taking tequila shots with my older sister and aunt. When we subtly change our stories about a wild night we had so our relatives don’t think we are alcoholics.
I sometimes am really disconnected but I had these thoughts in my head. I had these thoughts while cooking dinner with my friends, no parental supervision because we realize we are becoming adults.I had these thoughts in my head while sitting round a table with three other guys who are like younger brothers to me eating food from three different places and talking about the women that we almost had. I had these thoughts in my head while at Happy Hour not scared of making future plans with people because I know they’ll be around. Excited in the future to one day have my own family and have our own table to share meals with loved ones.
Excited way in the future for my kids to make friends that will share stories with me but change a few details, so I won’t worry. Excited to open up and stay connected with some of these people in my life forever.
Not everything my mother said was a beautiful lie. When she said “It will be alright” now more than any point in my life I see it and I believe it. It was more of a delayed truth.
Special Occasions, Holidays, Birthdays, just us knowing each other and sharing a meal. Thanks for letting me sit at your table and for being a part of my table
And all the people I hold dear, this life is dedicated to you.