My most memorable thanksgiving is one I almost didn’t see. My family pulled me through in December 2010. I owe them everything. Without the surgery and subsequent complications I went through…..the flu, the gradual recovery over several months from the massive anesthesia and effects of it, the depression….without going through those things I would have missed many wonderful life experiences. Too many to name, but four wonderful grandchildren have come into my life since then, and Paula and I have been closely involved with them. I’ve gotten to see my family grow through marriages….and upcoming ones. I’ve gone on great vacations with my family, and have experienced unbelievable joy and love. Believe me, I am one lucky man. So tomorrow, everyone have a Wonderful Thanksgiving! I hope to see many of you over the upcoming holidays….along with, of course, my aforementioned lovely family.
So here’s the writing from 2011:
Thanksgiving….my favorite holiday of the year. Even more so than Christmas. Even more so this year of all years
Last year on Christmas I was in Redmond hospital. My chest had been sawed open and they grafted four arteries into my heart and bypassed the ones that were almost totally stopped up. I was laying there for well over 6 hours, and was on the heart-lung machine for over an hour. Motionless and essentially lifeless for over an hour, while a machine held my life in its brainless hands. Thank God for technology and skilled doctors, because I did live. I lived, although for the first week I sometimes wished that I had not. But now I’m glad I did.
It snowed in Northwest Georgia on Christmas, last year…the Winter of 2010, and I missed it! I was so out of it still, that I couldn’t even look through the hospital window to the beautiful white Christmas that had finally come, and covered the ground below in an ultra white quilt of purest white. After all those years, it had finally arrived….and me, well…I was barely alive. It has taken all that time since then to truly recover. New Year’s of 2011 came and went, and I was sick as the veritable dog with the flu. Can you imagine all the coughing while trying to hold your chest to keep it from popping open? A trip to your doctor’s office and in his back door to see if after all you’d gone through, you were STILL gonna die! But, somehow I didn’t. Somehow, I lived.
Now Thanksgiving is here!
On Thanksgiving all of the family will be here and the extent of the stress is whether to have another spoonful of dressing, or some more ham.
I used to put more and more pressure on myself about Christmas every year, by worrying about what to give to who…. and is it enough, and yada yada. This year, with things as they are, Christmas will be a little more “homey” Things may even be homemade! But, I have finally decided that it’s gonna be ok. I would be fine if the only thing I get for Christmas is an “I love you” from my family.
I could NOT have made it this past year without them, especially my wife. You don’t know about love until you have to have someone wait on you hand and foot because you can’t wait on yourself. You don’t know about feelings, until one of your children or grandchildren walking through the door to see you lifts your heart to the high heavens.
This year, in the year 2011, I am thankful just to BE here…just to be able to be around and love the best family any man could have. I’m thankful to be able to think and feel I’m thankful to be able to try and piece together this past year, and and remember where the time went, and what has actually happened. I’m thankful for you…all my Facebook friends, who have prayed for me and encouraged me.
So, come on Thanksgiving!!
Come on and let’s move forward with life.
Come on and let’s have turkey…and pass the dressing please!