Memories of Thanksgivings Past


I am sitting in my darkened living room in a post turkey comma.  The sounds of family playing in the other room remind me that all is right with the world.

10 years ago was probably the most memorable Thanksgiving of my life.  Ethan had been scheduled for his second surgery in early November.  But because of a fungal infection, that date got bumped.  He was already showing neurological problems because of his tethered spinal cord; so we were very anxious to make the date as early as possible.  The next date was the day before Thanksgiving.  As is still the case, we have no family in the area.  We had not Thanksgiving plans.  So we went for it.

Because the hospital was practically empty, we had a private room in the oncology ward.  The surgery was long, but successful.  Ethan had to stay flat on his back for a couple of days so that he would not leak cerebral spinal fluid.  His pain was well managed and things went as smoothly as could be reasonably expected.

On Thanksgiving night, Ethan fell asleep in the early evening.  Jenn and I decided that it was a good time for us to sneak out together and get some dinner in the cafeteria.  I don’t remember if they had turkey.  But being hospital food, it was not going to be tasty anyway.

After dinner, we meandered our way back to the room.  We were in no hurry because Ethan was down for the count.

When we got to the room, however, we were greeted with a frightening site.  Ethan’s bed was surrounded by most of the floors nursing staff.  I could feel the adrenaline course into my body.   What now?  But my worst fears were quickly dissolved as it became clear what was happening.  Ethan was still fast asleep and the nurses were cooing over how cute the little baby was.

My heart in that moment warmed.  There is still a soft spot in my soul for this memory.

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