This year’s Thanksgiving turkey was flavored with good will

The Farbman family (1)

Some of the guests at this week’s Thanksgiving dinner: Top from left are Fischer, Nadine and David Farbman; Bottom from left are Hunter and River Farbman.

I intended to write a column about Thanksgiving gratitude. But this year’s celebration at the Franklin, MI, home of Lyle and Diane Victor was about more than that.

First, some things for which the children were grateful…

Hunter, 8: “Toys, my family, God.”

Mia, 11: “My guinea pigs, my dog, the house not catching fire from all the candles.”

Chloe, 8: “Ladybug (her dog), art, crystals, fashion.”

River, 5: “My iPad, Wii.”

Connor, 5: “My family.”

Fischer, 3: “I love Mommy, Daddy, everybody.”

Jay, 13: “Winning the robotics tournament (at school).”

Digression: When our son Andy (who roasted and ate turkey in Atlanta) was 5, Burton and I found him sitting at our breakfast room table with a “Playboy” he’d unearthed. Page by page, he muttered, “Get to the good part.” He reached the centerfold and smacked his hands. “Ah, there’s the good part.”

And now for the remarkably good part of our Thanksgiving story…

Our daughter-in-law Nadine’s identical twin sister Natalie voiced thanks for “being at the same table with my mother and father.”

From left are Diane, Mia, Jay and Lyle Victor.

From left are Diane, Mia, Jay and Lyle Victor.

The girls’ parents, Tonia and Lyle Victor, are divorced. Lyle remarried Diane; their children are Jay, the robotics wiz, and Mia, the fire warden. When I first knew Tonia, she and Lyle rarely spoke; she avoided events with him.

She has changed.

A Course in Miracles defines a miracle as “a shift in perception.”

At dinner this week, Tonia thanked Diane for her hospitality. She said, “It takes a lot of grace for you to have me here in your home.”

Diane said, “As human beings, we want to look back with other people and share memories. We’re creating memories together.”

After, I told Tonia how impressed I was with her graciousness. (I’m not at all confident I could be so mature.) She said, “It wasn’t fair to make the girls choose between their mother and father.”

Talk about a shift in perception. I felt honored to be present for our own Thanksgiving miracle.

TOP ROW from left Fischer Nadine Tonia Natalie and Chloe BOTTOM Hunter copy

TOP ROW from left: Fischer, Nadine, Tonia, Natalie and Chloe. BOTTOM: Hunter.

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4 thoughts on “This year’s Thanksgiving turkey was flavored with good will

  1. Diane Victor

    I finally had the opportunity to read your Thanksgiving night review. Thank you so much for sharing your storytelling gift with us. Your thoughtful depiction elevated our chaotic Thanksgiving dinner into an event worth cherishing!

  2. Lyle Victor

    Thanks so much for your heartfelt comments. You distilled in writing our sentiments that night perfectly. We will be looking forward to many more family dinners.

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