Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

Free Range Tom

I like Thanksgiving

I like any holiday that involves food and gratitude.

Hello Thanksgiving.

I am hosting this year and tonight I found myself at the grocery store among the Butterballs, the Jennie-O’s and the Pilgrim’s Pride Turkeys. The advertisement on the outside wrapper said they have all been injected with buttery sauce to make them extra juicy. Personally, if I were a turkey, I do not want to find myself with 20 other turkeys, injected with buttery sauce.

I felt sad for my fellow turkeys.

“Do you have any free-range turkeys?” I asked the butcher.

“They’re over here. I think we might be sold out, oh here’s one. They are really expensive so we don’t order a lot.”

I looked at the last free-range Thomas; the $50 free-range Thomas. Hi s cousin was only $15.00 and injected with buttery sauce. His cousin was a bargain but I pictured Thomas on a free-range turkey farm, wearing turkey tevas and doing laps on the turkey track.

Perhaps Thomas was happy.

Silly thought, Thomas is a turkey, a domestic turkey, who perhaps does not care if he is a free range, teva-wearing turkey but these are things I want lately.

Because I can; we can afford a $50 organic, fed-on-organic-turkey-feed only- turkey. We are not paying for college or day care…..not anymore.

And in some little way, organic Thomas makes me happy so I put him in the cart.

I go through the grocery store with my list and find myself at the pharmacy filling a prescription. I know the pharmacist well she filled Samantha’s meds many times. When we could not find Samantha’s elite, non-generic seizure meds, this pharmacist called around the state to find what Samantha needed.

Tonight she greets me with a warm smile, fills my prescription quickly and asks me how I am. I smile back and tell her I am just fine.

I introduce her to Thomas, my organic turkey.

Ironically, I fill a sense of calm as I shop for Thanksgiving. I put together a bouquet of Fall flowers and I realize I don’t have my re-usable bags. I leave my cart to run to my car and get my bags.

Because I can; I have all the time in the world.

Hubby can wait for dinner. It is just us and he can wait while I run out to make sure our plastic bag collection doesn’t grow larger.

I load Thomas the organic turkey, my prescription and my reusable bags into the car and run my cart up to the young man collecting carts.

Because I can, I have all the time in the world.

There are certain times when I feel that she is right there.

As I start the car, the song If I Die Young starts to play. This song came out right about the time that we lost her. I feel a silent sense of protest every time it plays on the radio but something about the lyrics soothe me.

Lord make me a rainbow, I’ll shine down on my mother
She’ll know I’m safe with you when she stands under my colors
Oh, and life ain’t always what you think it ought to be, no
Ain’t even gray, but she buries her baby

A penny for my thoughts, oh no, I’ll sell ’em for a dollar
They’re worth so much more after I’m a goner
And maybe then you’ll hear the words I been singing
Funny, when you’re dead how people start listening

I go home, put Thomas in the fridge and have a slice of pie made by hubby’s co-worker:

“I am thankful to work with you,” says the card on the pie.

It is tasty pie.

Life is never what we think it will be but maybe if we notice the tiny places of gratitude; if we refuse to be injected with buttery sauce, we return our shopping carts to their proper places and recognize when the world is trying to reach out to us, Thanksgiving might be just be……Thankful.

3 thoughts on “Free Range Tom”

  1. I had a hard time walking past the prepackaged turkeys after reading this. 😉 I don't know this song, but I will have to look it up. How very beautiful. I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving. Much love to you.


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