This morning T reminded me of the other Thanksgivings that have been full of sadness, loss, or disappointment. Of course, through the years, some Thanksgivings have turned out just fine. If you were a statistician, though, you would see that our family has shockingly high odds of Thanksgiving misfortune. One Thanksgiving, we sat by the bedside of our dying daughter. A few short years later, we sat in the Emergency Room. T, a VERY pregnant me, and one-year-old Luke were waiting for stitches to close a particularly bad “boo boo” to Luke’s head. Luke had fallen into a bookcase just as we were getting ready to walk out the door to go to Grandma’s house. If you throw into the mix the number of years when one kid or another just happened to be sick on Thanksgiving Day, our track record really sucks. T and I talked about all of these things this morning. He said that while he doesn’t believe in my November superstitions, he’s beginning to wonder if there isn’t some merit to my dislike of November after all.
All month, I have been trying to concentrate on the positive. I’ve been trying to power through the memories, adjust to the changes, and deal with the losses. This Thanksgiving was a year of firsts. This is the first time that I don’t have either parent with me to celebrate the holiday. This is the first year, the first holiday ever, that I do not have all of my kids home to celebrate the holiday. Andrew has to work today, yesterday, and tomorrow, too.
Andrew was home for about 24 hours last weekend, and it was good to have him in the house again. It was good to hear him play the piano, sing, and bang on the drum set. Most of all, it was good to give him a hug and to hear his voice in person. Like two ships passing in the night, Andrew went back to Chicago on Monday evening, and his brother arrived on Tuesday night. Luke brought home one of his roommates. His friend’s family was going to be out-of-town for Thanksgiving, and Luke didn’t want his buddy to spend the holiday alone. When Luke called me a few weeks ago to make sure that it was OK to bring home a guest, I immediately said YES! Oh, how I wish that there was a family in Chicago willing to share their holiday with Andrew!
We have had a revolving door on our house this past week. Kids have come and gone. From day-to-day, and often hour by hour, the number of people visiting, having dinner, or spending the night, has been ever-changing. Something uninvited came through our door, though. I had my suspicions last night when Lola began to complain about a sore throat. My suspicions were confirmed this morning when she woke up with a fever.
As a mother of four, a little fever isn’t enough to shake up the routine of the day. I dosed her with some ibuprofen, gave her some Sunny-D and sat her in front of the TV hoping that she would perk up. I went about my business getting ready to go to Thanksgiving dinner at my sister in law’s house. The next thing I knew, T was yelling for me. “Will you please come down here and hold your dog?”
I knew something was wrong by the tone of his voice, but I wasn’t prepared for what I saw once I got downstairs. T was standing by the back door with Lola. He was holding the dog by the collar, holding him as far off as possible. Lola had felt sick and had rushed for the bathroom. Bad luck would have it that someone else was in the bathroom at that particular moment, and the door was locked. She had rushed for the back door, but sadly, hadn’t made it outside before the Sunny-D made its way back up. Meanwhile, the puppy was attempting to make the most of this opportunity for a quick and easy treat.
To make a long story short, I tucked Lola back into bed, and she spent the rest of the day sleeping. The family left to spend Thanksgiving with T’s family. Basically, I spent the day sitting around feeling sorry for myself. I ate leftover pizza and had a beer. I ran the vacuum and messed around on my laptop. I sat in the living room on the couch and watched the wind rattle through the branches of the trees.
It’s just a day, just one day out of the year, but it sure didn’t feel good to spend Thanksgiving alone.