This is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. It's early Saturday morning now and I'm packing groceries from the fridge into shopping bags to bring to our cottage in the mountains. Everyone in our extended family is there already. Except Nicholas and my Mum, of course.
Yesterday I visited Nick in the afternoon and together, we skyped my mother. It was about 4 in the afternoon and we caught Mom still in her dressing gown. Lately, there are very few days when she gets dressed. My sister Karen will go to visit her with turkey on Monday, but Ma probably won't eat it. She has ceased to be interested in food or clothing. On our call yesterday, Mom was so funny and feisty. She bemoaned the fact that she couldn't drive anymore and suggested to Nick and me that perhaps she should take up hitchhiking. That topic brought back a memory of once, when she was young, she did hitchhike. A good looking fellow on a motorcycle picked her up and she was only too happy to hop on (nevermind she would never have allowed me or my sister to ride on one!). When Mom got off at her destination, she remembers that young man said, "Young lady, you are the first and only girl I have had on my bike that naturally leans in to the turns!" I didn't bother mentioning Sheryl Sandberg's bestseller "Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead" because I didn't need to. My mother could have written it.
Today, I am grateful that my Mom is still alive - that I can still hear her stories, some for the first time, like the one about hitchhiking or another one about her little friend Pinky Cohen who walked his ducks on a leash across Sherbrooke Street in Montreal in 1926.
Today, I am grateful that Nicholas is healthy. His seizures are under control and now his night charts only indicate one or two very brief ones. Quite a change from a few months ago when he regularly suffered over ten! I am grateful that on Thanksgiving Monday, Nick will come to our house for a turkey dinner. He is mostly tube-fed, but he'll love tasting a few bites of turkey and he'll chow down as much stuffing as he can.
Most of all, I am grateful for the love in our family. I am grateful for the privilege of caring for the people in the world I love most. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!