Preparing for Thanksgiving

November 25, 2008 § Leave a comment

At work the other day, the director of the program reminded us that the holidays can be a particularly tough time for high school kids like ours who are unlikely to have Norman Rockwell families.  Some of these kids will spend Thanksgiving missing a parent, or both their biological parents.  Others will be worrying about whether their parents will be able to afford to put a meal on the table, and still others will be sitting at home and not celebrating the holiday at all.  And all of them will probably feel like everyone else in the world is having a picture-perfect, cozy, Thanksgiving dinner where the food is plentiful and whole families are together and getting along.

This makes me feel a little guilty because I do have what these kids imagine everyone else has. Last year was the only year I have ever missed a family Thanksgiving, and it inspired this Thanksgiving post on my old blog.  My family’s Turkey day celebrations are warm and spirited and cozy and pleasant, and there is guaranteed to be a shameful abundance of food.

This Thanksgiving will be a little bit different for my family, since this year we are focused on trying to include my ailing grandmother, who has been inbetween hospitals and nursing homes for the past four months.  These past months of surgery, recovery, complications, recovery, broken hips, more surgery and recovery, have left her a mere ghost of the person she once was.  Today she hallucinates and experiences accute paranoia, nor can she walk or take care of herself in any way.  The plan is to spring her from the nursing home – a plan that can only be accomplished with a rented wheelchair van and the dedication of her two daughters who will be responsible for unpleasant tasks such as bathroom duty.  The whole family has been so stressed and depressed about the state of things that this issue threatens to put a cloud over our normally happy Turkey day.

But looking into the kids faces at school today, and wondering which of them was going to have a turkey, or even a family to celebrate Thanksgiving with, I realized just how much I have to be thankful for.  Even on a tough year like this one, I am overwhelmingly grateful for my family and grateful that I can be with them this year.


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