A Friend…Almost Like Family

Thanksgiving was only 18 days away. Jane was busily making lists and shopping for just the right food items to make the festive feast a Horn of Plenty for all of her and Billy B.’s family. There would be roasted turkey and Honeybaked Ham…and mashed potatoes that would be created by her loving brother…as he made the best mashed potatoes in three counties. Billy B. and J.D. had erected the Christmas Tree a week before Turkey Day…as had been their custom since the Pandemic.

Chet and his mom, Thelma, were coming to Billy B.’s house for Thanksgiving Dinner and Chet had agreed to be there early enough in order that they could watch, together, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television…as they had done every Thanksgiving since they were children. Aaron had told his dad that he had met a homeless family outside Walmart and wanted to ask them to the Dinner. Billy B. said absolutely. Miguel and Rosa had asked Aaron what they could bring…and Aaron said that they would be the guest of honor and need not bring anything but themselves. Miguel and Rosa had worked in the apple and peach orchards that were numerous in Little Egypt. They worked 12 – 15 hours per day. They were proud and Christian people. The type of Christian people that would give you the shirt off of their back… They had two lovely children, Raul and Sadie. Sadie had been ill with Covid most of the summer and fall and subsequently, her mom and dad had taken around-the-clock shifts at Memorial Hospital in Carbondale to sit by her bedside as she almost died. What little money that they made from their long hours of arduous labor in the fruit fields had evaporated from the doctor bills and the missed below minimum wage hours that they were not able to work due to paralyzing fear of their precious daughter…dying.

The Jiminez family entered the Bump home and all had smiles as large as Texas on their faces. Billy B. welcomed them to the head of the table and said…it could be said that these wonderful people are our friends that are almost like family…but today and henceforth…they are our family…

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