Thursday, November 28, 2013

happy thanksgiving

today is thanksgiving and i do have a bucketful of crap to be thankful for.

  • i have an amazing, supportive, understanding, loving husband 
  • i have three amazing and ridiculous cats
  • i have a wonderful brother and sister-from-another-mister
  • i have supportive and caring family members
  • i (usually) have enough money to pay my rent and bills
  • i am able to eat three (or more) meals a day
  • i am able to afford the medical care that i need for depression, anxiety, and rheumatoid arthritis

of course, right now my leg still hurts from the cellulitis (i'm able to walk on it, though), two of my three cats are fighting while looking at the birds outside, my awesome husband is in the bathroom trimming his ridiculous beard, and i have way more grey hair than i should.  my roots are pretty bad, but with the medical crap going on this past week or two, i haven't had time or energy to have sister-from-another-mister touch me up.  these are minor things.  

will my family care that my roots are bad and i have visible grey?  nope, they'll be happy that i am able to come to thanksgiving this year.  last year i had my gallbladder removed laparoscopically two days before thanksgiving, so i was laid up all weekend.  two years ago, i don't know what was going on but i think it was a pretty lame thanksgiving because three years ago, thanksgiving was horrible.

three years ago on thanksgiving, awesome husband flew up to new york early in the morning to visit mom in the hospital.  that morning, i mentioned to a nurse in the icu that i lived in florida and wanted to fly home to check on things - i was asking when mom might be moved from icu or allowed to leave?  

that nurse quietly told me she wouldn't plan on returning to florida.  she said she'd wait.  and then she called for our doctor.

the doctor took my brother and i aside and explained about the cancer that mom had.  we knew it was lung cancer, we knew it was stage four.  we knew it was in her lung, brain, spleen, liver.... everyfuckingwhere.  we knew it was about treating for comfort, not curing.  we thought we had a few weeks, we thought we'd have christmas.  

the doctor took my brother and i aside and explained that the cancer my mom had was super aggressive.  small cell or oat cell, if i remember correctly.  i could dig out the paperwork, and i will one day, but not today.  the doctor told us that radiation or anything for comfort wouldn't get her out of bed.  this doctor spoke to us gently and kindly, but very matter-of-factly.  

i don't remember his name.

but three years ago on thanksgiving, after leaving the hospital, we went to my mother's brother's house, the house my mom grew up in, and gathered her brother, sister, and their families into a back room.  we shared the news the doctor had shared with us: there was nothing we could do but keep her comfortable.  we were working on getting her into a hospice.  i apologized for dropping in and delivering bad news, but i couldn't stay.  my aunt's extended family was there - i couldn't deal with sitting there and having everyone know my mom was dying in a hospital a few miles away.

we went to my dad's brother's home.  it was just me, awesome husband, my brother, sister from another mister, my dad, my uncle and aunt, my aunt's mom, and i think my cousin was there for a while.  these people all grew up with my mom; even though my parents divorced years before, these people all loved her.  i stayed there and drank way too much with the people who cared about me.  we commiserated, we cried a little, we laughed a lot.

i don't remember the next thanksgiving; i'd assume it was about the same.  thanksgiving will never be the same to me.  the holiday season will never be the same for me.  i still put on the holiday music today, i still try to keep some of our old traditions alive.  but this year, i feel ready to start new ones.

i'm thankful for one more thing today: i'm thankful that i had thirty amazing years with my mother. 

happy thanksgiving.

mom and i on our first cruise - november, 2008

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