Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving

Well, today is Thanksgiving, and Lynda is still with us. I seriously thought yesterday was going to be 'the' day, as when I arrived after work about 3, she was very drawn and of course as unresponsive as has become the norm in just this past week.

I think she knew that Steve and I were there, but we sat and talked about life and family as if she was part of the circle even as she would stop breathing for so long that we were compelled to get up and see if this was the last. But it wasn't and after a couple of hours, we both went home to take care of the ordinary chores of life. Honestly, I lay down and took a nap. Funny how easy it is to feel guilty for what should be an easy gift to oneself, but the nap felt good as did dinner, which Valery had prepared while I was sleeping.

I went back to Lynda's after dinner to read and just listen to the rhythm of her breathing, which, oddly enough, was much more regular and therefore much less alarming. After a few hours it seemed as though she was going to make it through the night, and, apparently, she did. I haven't called yet this morning but I will as soon as I get ready to go visit.

Thanksgiving is a big day at the restaurant. It's one of the three days of the year that we serve brunch, so the joint will be jumping from 11 am to about 11 pm. Sara is opening today but I have to go in before it gets too busy so I'm 'in the flow' so to speak as we really get busy in mid-afternoon. Today is cold and windy, so it promised to be a tough sell for the patio tables and nothing in the yard, which may prove to be our undoing. Nonetheless, Sara is very gifted at this sort of thing, so while I'm nervous about how it will all work out, I'm also convinced by experience that it will indeed. I do look forward to coming home to our own Thanksgiving day table, which will hopefully still be littered with the remains of many delicious foods and surrounded by a sated and happy family.

The table has always been the focus of our home life. We always at dinner together as a family when I worked only at UT, while the children were growing up. We made a tradition of every day being thanksgiving, since Valery and I agreed that it wasn't just on the November holiday that one should be thankful. So we began every meal, and still do, by joining hands and being thankful to the Lord for bringing us all together and in good health for 'one more day'. Each day that I said this prayer I though of Lynda first, knowing that 'the' day would eventually come and being as grateful as I knew how that 'that' day was not 'the' day.

Well, 'the' day may finally have come and guess what? It's actually Thanksgiving! Lynda and Bill were married on Thanksgiving in 1955, so the day has been a melancholy one for her since his death in 1981. I doubt she actually knows what day it is, though, and for many reasons I actually hope that she doesn't die today. Not least because it would then be associated with the day for us, but also because it's likely to spoil Cheryl's Thanksgiving day feast, which she is holding for her family at the house. She's been such a kind and wonderful caregiver, I would hate to burden her so on this day. There is nothing I can do about it, though, except get dressed and go see her. So I shall.

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