"What am I, chopped liver?" One translation of this old Jewish saying turned modern colloquialism suggests that since chopped liver is a traditional side dish, the implication is that the offended party just didn't make "main dish" status.
Imagine being invited to a dinner party. Everyone who is anyone in your social scene is invited. You're looking forward to it, and you arrive at the party ready for a great time with a great host and good friends.
Now imagine you're the only guest who shows up. You and the host for dinner. No one else arrives; a host's worst nightmare. And now comes your nightmare. The host spends the next few hours listing off the guests he invited but didn't show, looking at the door; if he stares at it long enough someone will knock. It becomes clear that the people who aren't here are more important to the host than the one who is sitting right across from him. "What am I, chopped liver?" one would legitimately wonder.
How many times have we done that in our own lives? From talking about parishioners we don't see in church anymore in front of those we do, to beating ourselves up over lost customers, crying over lost loves or mourning lost loved ones in the face of the present and apparently unaccounted for, we miss the here and now. We miss the chance to celebrate the gifts we have. This day is a gift.
There's a time and place to mourn, wonder, worry about, pray for and remember those aren't with us today. And there's a time to pay attention to the ones we love, the ones who love us, the ones who count on us, the ones who are here; now.
It's September 12.