Two years ago Jerry and I spent Thanksgiving Day with my nephew, Chris, and his family in Katy, Texas. I was just beginning my treatment program at MD Anderson. Chris fried the turkey outside. Jackie and her friend from across the street made a ton of sides…It was a wonderful Thanksgiving. Chris and Jackie took good care of us that day and through the many days that came after that.
Last year, we were in Texas again…at Erin’s with three very cute little kids. This year, we’re home and looking forward to an afternoon with my sister, Eileen and her husband, and with good friends. I’m just a little bit nervous. I can’t remember the last time I did a turkey. Will it be done on time? Will it be done WAY too early? Will it be too dry? Will the dressing be too salty? Do I have enough veggies? It’s going to be a little tight at the table? Will people mind mismatched dishes and wine glasses? Silly, huh? I mean these people are family and good friends.
There is so much to be thankful for it sometimes takes my breath away. I’m still alive. My family is doing okay. Dad is slowly getting back to normal (to a new normal, anyway) Mom is mostly peaceful and content in the nursing home, delighted when family comes to see her but doesn’t seem to notice when we don’t. My sisters and brother seem fine and their kids are doing great. And my own kids and grands…well, they’re just perfect (aren’t all kids and grandkids perfect?)
I am so aware, though, that not everyone has it so good and I have such good friends fighting to stay alive this year, friends whose kids are breaking their hearts, friends who have lost spouses or siblings or parents, friends who are working hard just to get up every day and keep on keeping on.
So I’m humbled by their courage and by their strength. And hope that when (not if) the really tough times come, I’ll be as strong and gracious and courageous as they are. I know, I know…people say my time ALREADY came…but trust me, it didn’t. Cancer, my brand anyway, is nothing compared to the real things that can knock you over and leave you gasping for breath. Losing someone you love, watching people you love suffer, knowing your days are truly numbered…those are the tough things.
Enough…I am so incredibly thankful for each of you who read my ramblings week after week, who have been with me in good times and bad and who continue to send strength and good thoughts. I am incredibly blessed and I know it.
Below are some photos from the Siesta Key Sand Classic. Jerry and I went up on their last day to see the sculptures…nice way to spend Jerry’s birthday. The beach and then Turtles for lunch. And I am most grateful for that man who is seventy years young and continues to put up with his wacky and weird wife.