Though I’m not American, and Thanksgiving was last month for us here in Canada, I saw this writing prompt on Mama Kat’s website and wanted to address it: Write a post, poem, or story about something you’re thankful for this Thanksgiving. The last week has been a crazy one for me and my family. It’s been one that has made me realize how lucky I am. I have a lot to be thankful for.
At the beginning of the week we had a strange thing happen in our small town. It was something that I haven’t been through before, and it caused me to panic. There was a “situation” one street past ours, which resulted in a lockdown, with people told to lock their doors and not open them for anyone, while SWAT teams occupied their backyards, rifles in hand. I wrote all about it yesterday, and you can read that here. That event made me thankful to be living in a place where something like it is extremely unusual, and where we usually feel safe.
Yesterday I received a call from my mom. She and my dad were leaving for the airport later in the day, but my mom had some news. A few days before, when my family and I were at my parents’ house, my dad mentioned that he was having trouble seeing. My mom and I kind of joked about it, saying that he needed a stronger prescription because his eyes were getting worse with age. Well, he went to the doctor on Thursday, and then was directed to go immediately to the opthomologist. Turns out he had a stroke in his eye. And he can only see haze out of that eye now. It made me thankful for a number of things. First, I’m thankful that it just affected his one eye and nothing else. My grandfather had a stroke when I was pregnant with my oldest child, and after that he didn’t know anyone and said very little more than, “Amen, amen.” It was devastating to all of us who knew him. Second, I’m thankful that there is an experimental treatment that he’ll have which involves getting eye injections once a month for a year. The hope is that it could improve his vision in that eye. I’m also thankful that my parents are in very good health and, though my dad can’t see out of his left eye now, my parents can still enjoy their lives. They are now enjoying the warmth of Florida for a few weeks.
After telling me about my dad’s eye, my mom had some more bad news. She had been talking with a friend of hers, who is also the mom of one of my oldest friends (we’ve been friends since we were 6), and the news was about my friend. Something is eating away at her breastbone, and the doctors think it’s cancer. They need to do a biopsy to be sure, and that will happen in a few days, but she’s preparing herself for that diagnosis. I had the chance to talk to her, and her main concern is for her 4 year old son. She’s feeling bad that he’s so excited about Christmas but she can’t summon up any excitement because she thinks she’ll be either preparing for or recovering from surgery. And she’s scared. Talking to her made me thankful that my friend has a very close family – close emotionally and close in proximity – so she will have a lot of support during this difficult time. She also has a lot of good friends on whom she can lean. She commented that the phone calls and texts have surprised her. I think that knowing she has people who can help her out and are praying for her will make a difference. It also made me thankful that she has a young son. It’s going to make her fight hard. That little guy is her everything, and she wants to make sure she’s strong for him. Hearing my friend’s news made me thankful for my good health. You just never know when something can happen – without warning and for no reason – to change your life forever.
Although it’s been a week of strange occurrences and bad news, it’s made me see how lucky I am. I have a lot to be thankful for, and, if you do too, I would appreciate your thoughts and prayers for my dad and my friend. Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends.