Thanksgiving Reflections and Looking Ahead
Arriving from Istanbul, Turkey, to Santa Ana, California, in the fall of 1958, my father did not speak English nor did he know anything about the American holiday of Thanksgiving. What he did know was: he had the day off from his English class, everywhere was closed, and he didn’t have a kitchen. Luckily enough, he bumped into his English teacher, Mrs. Snow, while walking around campus, and she invited him to Thanksgiving dinner.
He was overjoyed when he entered her home to notice that he was not the only lonely person that she had invited — her home was full of international students! My father was overwhelmed not only by the kindness of Mrs. Snow but with a holiday based on just being together, thankful and eating! Thanksgiving quickly became his favorite holiday.
I have continued this tradition. I never know how many people I will have on Thanksgiving; it could be 5 or it could be 40. So just in case, I am always prepared with way too much food and extra chairs. This year, we did not have 40 but rather a small group of just my sisters, their families, and a few friends who have become family.
Being thankful is the core of who I am, and I know you all feel the same way. I am so thankful to be part of this Flint Hill community. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. I’d also like to wish you a Happy Hanukkah!
Sibel Unsal P’22, Parents’ Association President