As anyone who has followed my blog over the past month is aware, things have been a bit bleak around the old homestead. Every single person in my house has had a cold/flu bug which has taken us more than 2 weeks to shake. Fifty percent of us - my parents - ended up in the hospital from it, and my mom is still hooked up to an oxygen tank. Not a fun time.
Luckily, we are all feeling a bit better now, which is truly incredible considering that my mother, who has smoked gleefully and faithfully for over 40 years, was informed this past weekend that she had a rather advanced case of COPD and would need to stop smoking immediately.
I remember how tough it was to quit, and I only smoked for less than 10 years. I also had the luxury of setting my own timetable and game plan for quitting. Needless to say, I was expecting Mom to be a bit of a crankypants for at least the next few weeks - and understandably so. Imagine my surprise to instead find her in what I would call an extraordinarily good mood since she's been home from the hospital. I would say that she's actually in higher spirits than I've seen her in years.
Mom has become increasingly depressive over the past decade, as her neurological disability has slowly yet steadily robbed her of her freedom, her ability to walk and drive, and her plans for being an active, helpful participant in the lives of her grandchildren. Each passing day seems to bring a new limitation on what she can safely do on her own, which must certainly be extremely difficult to handle emotionally. So any upswing in her mood is cause for celebration. That this has coincided with the end of her smoking (hopefully for good) is nothing short of a miracle.
We have all been a bit bummed by the fact that we were so sick that we completely missed Thanksgiving this year, so Mom's pleasant demeanor over the past few days has jumpstarted a bit of the festive mood that had so far eluded us this holiday season. It occurred to me yesterday that Mark had purchased a turkey for us for Thanksgiving, which had been languishing forgotten in the fridge ever since he succumbed to the family plague. If we were going to salvage it, we would need to cook it up ASAP.
So, with the addition of a few cans of green beans, mushroom soup & french fried onions, we had a holiday meal in the making. Throw in some Stovetop stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy, cranberry sauce and a can of crescent rolls and voila! Thanksgiving was joyfully resurrected for our little family unit. Nothing fancy, but no hours of cooking and cleaning were necessary either, which suited us fine this year. I just popped that turkey in the oven & waited for the timer to ring.
And I think we were all happy to have this opportunity, belated as it was, to celebrate and to give thanks. It's been a tough road, but we're all glad to be on the road to recovery. After Mom's breathing scare, we're all keenly aware of how lucky we are to be together around the table at all, much less around a table filled with our favorite foods. While it is easy to get bogged down in negativity when the going gets rough, the truth is that we are each of us blessed every day in a multitude of ways.
And for that, we give thanks.