My mother arrived in Chicago the Wednesday before last. We planned to go immediately after to have dinner to celebrate my sister’s birthday. On the way there, we were almost sideswiped by a Megabus. After filing a complaint, we still were able to make it to the restaurant. My mother, my sister, and I raised our glasses for the first time together as women. We gave thanks for still being together, and celebrated.
The next day, we enjoyed eachother, gathering groceries for next Thursday’s Thanksgiving meal. Later that night, we received a call from my cousin. It was my Uncle. He was not doing well. My mother scheduled a flight to California for the next morning. We were thankful that she was able to not only find, but afford a flight so that she could be with her sister and brother in law. She landed safely the next day.
We spoke to my mother that Sunday. It was my uncle. He was not doing well. The doctor briefed the family. It would only be a matter of days. I could only feel complete by being able to see him before he passed. We scheduled flights to see him the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Although we would not be with our children on Thanksgiving day, we would still be with our family. We were thankful for the resources to afford a flight, and for the support.
We arrived at my cousin’s home in California where my uncle and family were. There he received hospice care. We reunited with family whom we hadn’t seen in nearly 20 years, yet it was as if no time passed. We laid watch over him all night into the early morning. I was so thankful to be able to share time and energy with him that night.
Early Thanksgiving morning, many of us were woken up from our sleep. It was our Uncle’s time…we were thankful to be there, as a family, to support his transition.
As preparations were taking place the following days, so many synchronicities and blessings took place. From food, to clothing, to timing. His service was beautiful. We were so sure that my uncle was there helping with the plans. We told him “Thank you.”
I sit here writing, and in reality, processing all that has just occurred. As painful and excruciating as it all was, so too was there peace and beauty. So such is the spectrum and dynamics of life. And with it, I still am left thankful. Some of us may not have “celebrated” Thanksgiving day as we are told we are “supposed” to. That day may never hold the simple innocence of a definition for some as it once did. I may now understand life a bit differently. This post may not have reached eyes until after “Thanksgiving Day.” So what…we are still here, and if there is any way to find humor, laughter, a hint of hope, still try it, give thanks. It feels pretty cool.