An atypical Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving!! Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday of the year. It’s a time to visit with family, stuff our bellies with heaps of yummy comfort foods and enjoy our food comas that undoubtedly follow. There’s always football on the television, board games on the table and children’s laughter in the background. This year it was my turn to have the children for Thanksgiving as my ex husband and I split up the holidays and alternate each year. My family including my parents, brothers and sister and their families already had plans for this holiday so I had planned on cooking a nice turkey dinner for 4 of my 5 children and myself, pulling out some games and enjoying our small Thanksgiving together in our new rented home that we had just moved into the weekend before. I shuffled and scrounged through the many, MANY boxes strewn throughout every room and garage to acquire the necessary foods and dishes to prepare my Thanksgiving feast. Canned olives from a box at the very bottom of a stack in a far corner of the garage, a frozen turkey entombed 4 feet under a mound of various frozen meats at the bottom of our chest freezer and dishes, pots and pans spread out in boxes throughout the house. The turkey was placed in the sink for defrosting and we headed for bed Thanksgiving eve. 

It’s rare that I have a chance to sleep in these days with the hustle that comes with being a single, working mother of teenagers and an infant. When I woke I was surprised to learn my kids had allowed me to sleep in until 10am! I must have needed the extra sleep. 3 of my children had been ill with some sort of a head cold for the past few days so I assumed they had all slept in with me. I sat up in my bed and my 13 year old daughter, Madison came to my room to tell me she had passed out earlier in the shower and when she woke she threw up all over the bathroom but wanted to let me sleep so she didn’t disturb me with this information. They know how much mama enjoys her rest! Of course I let her know how much I appreciated this but for something like that she needs to let me know as soon as it happens. I advised her to lay on the couch as I called my mother who is an NP to see if I need to rush her into the ER since the doctor’s office would be closed for Thanksgiving. I left her a message and attended to my daughter. She started feeling much better, singing to the baby and watching t.v.. I had considered just making sure she had plenty of fluids and rest and not ruining our day by spending it in the ER. While debating what to do and waiting for a call back from my mom I received a call from my ex informing me that my oldest daughter Morgan (17) was also taking a turn for the worst. I called her to see how she was doing. She was having a hard time breathing as she was gasping for air. My ex was able to drive her to me so I could take the both of them into the ER and graciously offered to take the other kids with him and his wife to their parents house for their Thanksgiving gathering. I decided to throw the turkey in the oven, pack up the kids and head to the ER. That’s just how we roll ’round here. Gotta stay on your toes and roll with the punches! In the midst of all this I was also talking to a friend via text who had offered to come cook dinner for us so we would have Thanksgiving dinner waiting for us when we got home from the hospital. Aww.. that warmed my heart! He doesn’t have a car so I would need to quickly make the 10 minute drive out to grab him and hurry back to get the girls to the ER. On the ride back home, however I noticed how much of the “Eat, DRINK and be merry” holiday message he had taken to heart. It was pretty apparent he had overindulged.  I’m now rethinking this ‘what seemed to be’ great idea to accept his offer. He was very visibly drunk and it was apparent he was to the point where he could not keep things straight and was getting easily confused. So, long story short I decided I’d rather not come home to my home in ashes and ended up taking him BACK to his place and driving straight to the ER from there. 

The hospital was quite. The girls were checked in and dressed in their fabulous gowns laying in their hospital beds in separate rooms. Poor girls, both looked as if they had received the kiss of death. Hair a mess, pale and clammy, moaning in agony. I divided my time going up and down the hallway to stand by each of their bedsides as they were poked and prodded. They each received IV fluids, both had blood drawn for tests, things shoved up their noses and into their throats and a set of chest x-rays. Madison also had her heart monitored. The hospital staff was kind and caring giving Morgan who was freezing a warm blanket and joking around with the girls to bring up their spirits. I had one request aside from them figuring out what was wrong with the girls and how to fix it… I also had a turkey in the oven at home so my request was that they move swiftly so we could be home by 6 to take the turkey out. They were very accommodating. The test results came back quickly and we had our answer. Influenza. They both had a terrible case of the flu. šŸ˜¦ They were able to give them their first dose of meds at the hospital and with prescriptions in hand the girls were dressed and discharged in plenty of time to stop at the store for a banana cream pie and a few other necessities. We arrived home with 30 minutes on the timer. The girls staggered to the couches for rest as I started in on our feast. By 7pm we had mashed potatoes, stuffing, olives, rolls, turkey, cranberry sauce, deviled eggs and a banana cream pie. I just noticed we completely forgot any sort of vegetables… who needs veggies anyways, right? There was no laughter, no games being played, no football on the t.v. just two sick girls, a comforting boyfriend (of my daughter’s) and a tired mama. After dinner I cleaned up the kitchen and as I scraped the plates clean I dwelled upon the happenings of our day. It was not a traditional Thanksgiving. It was not how I had envisioned it going but on this day we have so much to be thankful for. Good healthcare and medicine to help heal our tired bodies, a roof over our heads, full bellies, a fire burning in our wood stove, clothes to wear, warm beds, bundles of friends and family who love us, care for us and will always have our backs… I could go on and on. I am grateful for all we have especially each other. The trails we go through teach us lessons, bring us together and shape us into the beings we are meant to be. We just need to be open minded, willing to receive and search out the lessons to be learned. 

This is my life… Welcome! Come on in! šŸ™‚ 

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