Friday, November 23, 2007

Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!

"El Jueves, es un dia de fiesta. No trabajamos. Es una fiesta de aqui, de Ustedes, verdad?"
"Yes, it's Thanksgiving," I answered. My friend, Patricia, from Acapulco wasn't sure what exactly we celebrate.
Patricia grew up in poverty and worked from childhood cleaning and washing clothes against rocks in the river. She had seven children, four still at home with her. She is a surviver of domestic violence and had lived in a shelter for over a year, before she finally got a job and an apartment.
I explained to her the story of the first pilgrims and how the Native Indians helped them survive those first harsh winters. She nodded, "Es una fiesta Americana."
"But it's more than that," I said, trying to organize into words what Thanksgiving means. "It's really an immigrant holiday. Those first immigrants came and made a new life for themselves, and they were grateful for the friendships and the abundance. They felt blessed."
Patricia smiled at me in sudden understanding. "Todos somos benditos!"
I think she finally understood that it was her holiday too.