|Every Thanksgiving is a snapshot in time which may not come again. (dvd-ppt-slideshow.com)|
I am a little reticent about Thanksgiving. In the 90s, my mother in law died in her fifties before Thanksgiving. Then in 2006, my beloved golden retriever Susan, who had helped to raise all our children, passed of old age, early in the morning the day after Thanksgiving. She passed at 5 am on a pillow on our bedroom floor. Despite her old age, this was a great loss, and I knew even then, it was the beginning of a trail of losses. The following year, my mother passed in the hospital the day after Thanksgiving. I was eating some leftover turkey with some stuffing and gravy when I got the phone call. I still remember how I felt as I sat down in the dining room to compose myself. The following year, my father passed before Thanksgiving, and I had the great honor to sit with him for five days beforehand. He was quite lucid and this gave us both a chance to tell each other some things and for me to confirm some final life directions. Just after Thanksgiving in 2008, our youngest son passed at 12 1/2. There was a clean autopsy, and physician think he may have had a spontaneous heart rhythm disturbance. We were supposed to be comforted by the fact that this is happening more and more to children who play sports and to professional athletes also. I don't think misery really loves company. I don't think I want anyone to lose a loved one, on a holiday, just after, or any other time.
I suppose it's probably normal for me to approach Thanksgiving with a little trepidation. "Whose turn is it this year ?" is a thought which sneaks in sometimes. With my new onset atrial fibrillation experienced seven times this year, I think the likelihood is there that it will be me.
Still, with all this holiday baggage, it doesn't matter. We ARE here, and we ARE going to celebrate because no one is every promised or guaranteed any day, let alone another Thanksgiving, or another Christmas. We are here, until we aren't. The crime would be squandering that time in which we are.
I could look at our trail of Thanksgiving losses as very bad luck. Or I could see it as it is. God has orchestrated for us that He calls us when he is ready, and is demonstrating to our family that there is a plan. Our family members will be well until they are called, and then they will be lovingly called to go home. I try really hard not to be sad in the holiday season. Most of the time, it works.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone. Give a hug to everyone because sometimes it IS their last year with us.
UPDATE: Thanksgiving Day, 2013 So many people are reading this post this year, that I thought I owed all of you an update. My health has improved greatly from a year ago. I am no longer having atrial fibrillation since I supplemented magnesium glycinate, and changed from omeprazole which decreases needed magnesium levels over time, to ranitidine, for GERD.
There is a book called "Beat Your A-Fib" which you can see at http://www.beatyoura-fib.com/ If atrial fibrillation is a problem for you, read this book and then discuss whether implementing its recommendations are right for you, with your doctor.
I am still dealing with animal health issues this year. My son's thirteen year old Siberian Husky is requiring pretty intensive care as a result of probable Addison's Disease with fluid and electrolyte imbalances. This Thanksgiving, I will be working hard with him on his appetite, until the vet reopens after Thanksgiving for more definitive treatment. It is my hope that we will avoid a Thanksgiving season loss this year.