A year ago, a doctor at Albany Med said my father wouldn’t
make it to his 82nd birthday in December without dialysis, a
life-prolonging option that dad rejected. He’d had enough. He’d made peace with
himself, his family and God.
On Thursday, he will be holding court at the end of my dining room
table, no doubt asking for a second helping of my son David’s stuffing and a
small piece of his son-in-law Jeff’s blueberry pie. The kidney failure halted,
and though the past year has had its medical and emotional ups and downs, Dad
is with us. That is a gift for which I am grateful.
My sons will be at the table, too. The Windy City promises
to remain calm for Joe’s flight home from grad school, and David is confident
that he’ll be able to file his Thanksgiving Day stories for his editors at the
Daily Gazette in time for dinner, or at least for the traditional post-meal Scattergories.
Nothing makes this mother happier than to have her children at hand.
And then there’s my husband of, let’s see, holy smokes, 34
years, doing our own things while also enjoying each other’s company. We had
nine fun years before kids, a wonderful and relatively easy time raising them,
and transitioned without a bump into the empty nest. I’d tell you that we warn
David, who lives in town, to knock before entering, but that would be too much
information. Let me just say that I am so thankful to have Jim as my partner in
I am grateful, too, that Jim and I stay in touch with our
siblings and that some of them and their children will be joining us for Thanksgiving. I
bought my overly long dining room table 30 years ago with the hope that it
would be surrounded time and again by family and friends.
I consider myself lucky. Many people, I know, have suffered
losses, are facing serious problems, are struggling, have aching hearts. My thoughts
and prayers are with these relatives, friends, colleagues and strangers.
I am thankful for my health, for a comfortable and happy life,
and for the predisposition to recognize every day as a gift. Sounds simplistic
and sentimental, but so what? I have much to be thankful for. I hope you do,