“It’s not about the turkey,” she said, “it’s about family.” Then she added, “Please don’t feel bad.”
Grateful tears stung my eyes and I thanked her for about the seventh time. It was the last thing I expected to hear. I had just told her the turkey we shipped by overnight express wasn’t going to make it to her house in time for Thanksgiving. Not just any turkey. A certified organic, certified humane® heritage breed turkey that the farm I am the Internet sales coordinator for, pasture-raised for the last half year. A turkey that cost as much as a week’s groceries.
The call before her, didn’t go as well. The man was disappointed and angry, and felt the need to pelt me with insults over the phone, not just once, three times. He called back twice to tell me “it ain’t right to treat people like this” he said in his deep South accent. He was so verbally abusive, when I got off the phone the first time, I sobbed. People don’t talk like that to me. I wasn’t raised that way. I don’t hang around people that talk that way to each other. The worst part was he wouldn’t listen, and he accused me of not being truthful.
Even though we prepared to ship our orders, planned the boxing, triple checked our orders, in the end there were a few mistakes made. Just one was totally our fault. Make that, my fault. That’s the one that weighed heaviest on my Sister Mary Responsibility shoulders. The one that I waited until last to call. The one I expected to be worse than the worst.
But it wasn’t the worst.
It was a grace-filled conversation. Because there is four hours difference between our coast and hers, she still had time to run out for a substitute. “It won’t be as fantastic as yours,” she said, ” but this will be our turkey adventure story for 2011.” She thanked me for letting her know and and her final words washed away the hurt of the previous call, and some of the exhaustion of the last few weeks. She blessed me. I consider her a gift, and answered prayer.
Because really, it’s not about the turkey, it’s about family. It’s about thankfulness. I’m thankful to be working. I’m grateful to be busy. I’m grateful to have problems to solve and connections to make. I’m grateful to realize what’s important, and what’s a distraction, that even in imperfection there are perfect lessons to learn.
Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours.
Graphic from Clip Art Etc.
Description: A male turkey, sitting in front of a barn. Source: S. G. Goodrich Animal Kingdom Illustrated Vol 2 (New York: Derby & Jackson, 1859)2:247