10 years ago, I had been sick with M.E./CFS and FM for 3 years. Then I had an unrelated surgery a week before Thanksgiving. I was laid out on the couch while my husband took over the dinner preparation with the help of my girls. My son, only 10 at the time, came over to the couch to cheer me up. We spent a lot of time taking “selfies” and giggling and having fun. It really helped me handle the process of letting go of making the dinner. It became a tradition and we have taken them every Thanksgiving since! (I’m sharing just a few throughout this post)
I haven’t been in charge of making the Thanksgiving meal since that year (due to health). I’m so thankful for a husband who was willing to take over.
However, this year, one of my daughters offered to host it! She is a fabulous cook, and has been in charge of making the homemade crescent rolls for years. This year, she added the turkey and fixin’s! It was the juiciest, most mouthwatering turkey you can imagine! I am so thankful she was willing to serve us by cooking, hosting and cleaning!
Last week, on Saturday afternoon, 6 days before Thanksgiving, I got a migraine. In general, when I get a migraine, I have them for 3 – 9 days. It’s not just a headache. It causes aura’s , uncontrollable sleepiness, nausea, and all kinds of neurological symptoms. On Wednesday, I was exhausted and wondering how I would even enjoy celebrating Thanksgiving with the family. Thursday morning, I woke up with no sign of a migraine. I held my breath all day, but I haven’t had one since. I am so thankful for a migraine free Thanksgiving with the family!
In September our son moved to Maui for a year long intern position and wasn’t going to be able to come home for Thanksgiving. I knew it would happen eventually… kids grow up! But I didn’t realize how much I would miss him!
I packed up a box of goodies to help him feel like he had a little bit of “home” with him on Thanksgiving. I baked some cranberry bread and made chex mix. I put in a Christmas ornament (that’s been a Thanksgiving tradition in our family) and the Kenny G CD we always play during Thanksgiving dinner. I added a little package of “Russian Tea” (a hot drink we enjoy in the winter, but I thought maybe he could enjoy it cold in Maui). And then I packed LOTS of fudge in every crevice I could fit it in. I topped it off with a bag full of “thankfulness notes” the whole family wrote (another family tradition). It was a nice full heavy box. I am so thankful the box got there just when he was out of food and in time for Thanksgiving.
We agreed to connect with him on Skype. I took my computer to Ellen’s house, and we texted throughout the morning. Hope Chapel was having a family Thanksgiving dinner at the church, and Chris told me there was another meal later in the day for the young adults. (Free food is always a bonus for interns!) So I knew he would be well fed, but it was still going to be very hard for all of us to have him so far away. I am so thankful for texts and skype that keep us close, and for my new ipod that allows me to see his adventures on instagram and “snap chat” with all of my grown kids!
Chris asked, in text, if I would let him know when his other sister and her husband had arrived, so we could have some time skyping with the family. As we were waiting for them to arrive, my husband and I both got this text from Chris…“Distance is relative to the time it takes to get on a plane”. We were both confused. We figured it was a quote from a movie or a book… and we knew he must be really sad not to be with the family. We were really really sad he wasn’t there.
As we both were trying to figure out what to text back, he sent this text… “Seriously though, it’s really cold can you let me in?”
My heart jumped. The dogs barked. The front door opened… and THERE HE WAS!!! I seriously, started crying!!
As an airline employee, he had been able to get free flight home and had actually been on an airplane all night on his way to surprise us! It was the BEST surprise ever!!!
I am SO thankful our family was ALL together on Thanksgiving!
He had to head back Friday morning, but, oh what a wonderful day we had! The only hard part was that we lost one of our family members a few months ago. Hampton, our son-in-laws dear sweet golden retriever always joined us on holidays. It did feel a little empty without her big wagging tail and smiling eyes. But I’m so thankful God has helped them thru their grief and we will all be able to welcome and embrace a new golden pup into our family when the time is right.
Right after the tears
I’m not sure I can remember a better Thanksgiving. So many things to be thankful for. I thank and praise my God who makes all good things for bringing so many blessings into my life… all in one day!
Now… on to Christmas! Yay! I love Christmas!
Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!