We've spent a few Thanksgivings in the hospital over the years. And for a long time prior, I admit to taking many of them for granted. After all, there was plenty of food, all of the family there and of course, all of the fun. Having spent last year in the hospital with Dear Son, and many others, I have a new found appreciation for Thanksgiving. I think my worst Thanksgiving, was a few years back, when Dear Son was hospitalized, all of the restaurants were closed, and I ate a ham sandwich out of the vending machine, since the cafeteria was closed at well. At that time, I remembered all of the wonderful holidays with delicious food and all of the fun.
You know you are blessed when:
- You can spend Thanksgiving at home. There are many adults and children who will spend Thanksgiving in a hospital. Some of them won't survive. We are blessed to spend it at home this year.
- There is plenty of good food to eat. Food banks are overflowing with people in need of a good meal. I like to donate to a mission in our community for the holidays.
- You can eat and swallow food. Dear Son has been on gtube feeds since 2006. That doesn't mean he doesn't miss it. He can still smell the food and loves to cook. Sometimes I give him a little taste, about the size of a dime, if that. He can't swallow anymore and can't manage food by his mouth.
- You can have a conversation with your kids. I've never been able to have a conversation with Dear Son since he can't speak. I'd love to know what he was thinking and feeling.
- You have all of your family members at the table. I lost my sister to colon cancer in 2009. I never dreamed I would lose her so young.
And finally, don't forget to make room at the table for the disabled. I know when we would sit down at the table with extended family, space was tight and it was always easier to feed Dear Son off to the side in his wheelchair or feed him at the table before everyone was seated; this was when he could eat by his mouth and not via a feeding tube. Now I know that was a mistake. When I sat in the living room with him, I could hear everyone laughing and having a good time at the table and it wasn't the same. It was then that I realized the importance of socialization at the table. Now, I make sure to sit Dear Son in the wheelchair at the table and enjoy it with us.
So today, I'll set a pretty table, pull Dear Son's wheelchair up to the table, and be thankful for all of the food we have and for the family who will celebrate Thanksgiving with us today. I will also be thankful for all of you, who always support us and pray for us. Your prayers for my Dear Son mean a lot.
Note: Photo of Dear Son was taken two days ago while he was napping. He is healthy and doing well this year. Tablescape is my Sugar Maple tablescape. You can see more photos here. That is also today's tablescape for Thanksgiving.