I'm going to write my Thanksgiving blog early.
But the one you're about to read isn't the original one I wrote about Thanksgiving gluttony. I tabled that one, temporarily. It didn't feel right, and it wasn't funny. Because when I write, no matter how hard I try, I can't keep my tone from seeping through the words onto the pages. What's happening in my heart and soul is like an undercurrent punctuating my prose.
So when I'm not feeling funny, my writing isn't either. At least not to me.
Last week an acquaintance I hadn't seen in some time joked that my husband is never in my blogs.
"What's he doing, golfing?" she guffawed.
Anyone close to my family knows my husband is very sick, and has been for some time. She was mortified. She apologized, and as I reassured her, it occurred to me that she was right. For the past six months, I have been writing about everything except him. Pumpkins, adolescence, surfing - such safe, safe subjects.
He does not want attention, and he certainly doesn't want anyone feeling sorry for him. But he doesn't mind if I write this. Because it's important.
So, at this corny time of year, when people give thanks, I shall do the same. Because it's how I feel today. Thankful. On this beautiful Sunday afternoon bursting with Indian summer sun, as I sit on my patio, listening to my sons washing up from their afternoon of surfing, I wait for my husband to come home from the hospital. And I feel thankful.
Thankful to everyone who has helped our family in these last difficult months.
Thankful for friends. You drove my sons to games, took them out for pizza, took them surfing, hung out with them when I couldn't. You talked to them, listened to them, high fived them, and laughed at their jokes. You reminded them that their job as kids was to do well in school, and not worry. But that if they wanted to worry, just a little, then that was OK too.
Thankful for friends. You left food in the refrigerator. You texted me things like "Whatever you need, call me," and "We love you guys." You called, over and over, even if I didn't call back. You fixed our computers, fixed our appliances, fixed our sinks. You drank with me, ran with me, and commiserated with me. You listened until there were no words left.
Thankful for neighbors. You took in my mail, kept an eye out for my kids, kept my lawn looking nice. You walked my dog, left me small notes of encouragement, and brought in my trash cans. You watched my house when I wasn't around, and held us in your bubble of blessedness.
Thankful for my supervisors and bosses. You recognized my family as my priority, and let me have time at home. You let me drop my duties as a teacher to be a wife and mother when I was most needed. You provided me with unconditional support, and didn't question why.
Thankful for my colleagues. You taught my classes, talked to my students. You fetched materials from my closet, texted me with updates, and recognized that even in my tough time, I was still a teacher, and didn't want my classes neglected. You left balloons in my classroom, and handled everything so that when I came back, my return was seamless.
Thankful for my trainer and nutritionist, and everyone affiliated with Exodus Wellness Center. Because even as you watched me struggle in the maelstrom, you reminded me to not forget myself, and to keep myself well. You told me to keep running, training and working out even when time and constraints tried to keep me from it. Because it would keep me sane. And it did.
Thankful for my family. There is not enough space in my blog to thank you for all you have done. Out of love you walked our dog, made us dinners, and changed our smoke detectors. You sat with my husband when I couldn't, and hung out with my kids. You talked, listened, and made jokes to ease the stress. Your constant encouragement and love kept my children enveloped in a net of safety and warmth, and it is something I will never be able to repay.
Thankful for God. Because even when I was convinced I did not deserve it, you listened to my prayers.
Thankful for Tom, my husband. Because you have always taken the road less traveled.
And that, for us, has made all the difference.