The Happy Thanksgiving Edition!
Whenever I think about Thanksgiving, the 1990 movie, Avalon, always comes to mind. There is a scene where Uncle Gabriel, who was always late to everything, is incensed that his family cut the turkey before he arrived. He storms out vowing to never return to another Thanksgiving meal with the family. I can’t remember how it ended but I want to believe that eventually they forgave each other and in the next year waited for Uncle Gabriel to arrive before cutting the turkey because they realized that his presence in their lives was more important than a warm plate.
Like many of you perhaps, the holidays can be bittersweet for me. Though my parents divorced, we always had Thanksgiving together as a family, and I recall waiting for my father to arrive to our house to cut the turkey. This year will be our second year without him at the holiday table. Of course, I also know that I was blessed to have him until I was 54, which I know is really a gift that enriched me with many great memories.
More recently, I'm reminded of my experience last week distributing the Village directories. Not only did two members who happened to arrive at the same time to pick up their copy realize that they’d gone to college together, but I also saw first hand how closely our members live to each other. Many are within the same buildings or just around the block. The opportunities for friendship and connections with others are rich given our physical proximity. My fervent hope is that through activities or just friendly visits or phone calls (assisted by the directory!) that everyone feels that they are part of our Village community…where they know that we won’t cut the turkey without them!
My heartfelt appreciation to all of you – members, volunteers, board members, Claire, sponsors, supporters, donors, previous staff, and certainly founders – who not only conceived of this organization but also gave their time, talent, and/or treasure to make it so successful. We are now 159 members strong with 118 volunteers. Already this year, we offered over 300 programs and provided nearly 1,500 acts of kindness. That’s a lot for which to be thankful.
I hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday (and for a heartwarming couple hours, watch Avalon!)
Frank Finamore is the Village Executive Director