Saturday, November 26, 2011

Journal of a Living Lady #410
Nancy White Kelly

Thanksgiving has come and gone. Our dinner was wonderful. Last year I cooked. This year Charlie’s in-laws did.

Tori’s parents retired last year and moved close-by. We have become good friends so our holidays have evolved into clan gatherings.

Charlie’s wife, Tori, is expecting again, a secret I promised to keep until confirmed. They have now heard that miraculous tick-tock and are hoping for a girl this time. They have two boys, Micah, 6, and Noah, 4.

Tori has had significant morning sickness, more like 24/7, and is porting an I.V. of anti-nausea medication to combat the serious up-chucking. She has already spent two stays in the hospital. Hopefully all will clear up soon and the middle trimester of the pregnancy will be much better for her than the first.

Tori did make it for Thanksgiving dinner which was a fun affair for us all. Well, not exactly for me. I woke up with excruciating pain in my back and right hip. As long as I laid flat, I was fine. The effort of getting on my feet was torturous. What could I have done in my sleep on a rainy night? Nothing I could think of.

Stubbornly, I insisted on being a part of Thanksgiving dinner, one of the highlights of our year. I paid a price. Getting in and out of the car was torment.

The Living Lady tried not to spoil the teasing and bantering that accompanies such family gatherings, but nobody could ignore the two elephants in the room: Tori with her I.V. bag and my piercing groan and grimace when I stood.

Buddy and I returned home late in the afternoon. I headed straight for the bed. Minutes later Buddy appeared in the bedroom doorway. He was pale, sweaty and in obvious pain, quite contrary to his comedic, hypochondriac personality.

He explained that after moving the car under the carport, a feisty neighbor dog charged at him. Buddy picked up a small rock and slung it toward the dog in an attempt to send him home. Pain raced through his right shoulder. He said he almost passed out.

Just when Buddy needed me, I could be of no help. My back pain was screaming for attention too. Two married senior citizens, painfully incapacitated on the same day is no small matter. Growing old is not for sissies.

Being a holiday week-end, our regular physicians were enjoying their families. We doctored ourselves with pills from the medicine cabinet. We both moaned through the night, occasionally laughing at the irony.

Today we still hurt, but maybe a tad less than on Thanksgiving Day. Life goes on. No matter what, we still have much to give thanks for which reminds me of the time I was teaching kindergarten many years ago.

I asked the five-year-olds to draw a picture of what they were thankful for. I walked around the tables, praising each of the pictures. Luke’s drawing was different. His turkey had a huge black X heavily scribbled on the turkey’s beautifully colored wings.

My curiosity took hold. “Tell me about your picture, Luke. What are you thankful for?”

The boy looked at me in disbelief. How could his teacher be so ignorant of its meaning?

“Mrs. Kelly, I am thankful that I am NOT a turkey.”

Me, too, Luke.

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