You see, this Thanksgiving, I decided I was going to be the Queen of Misanthropy and eschew Thanksgiving altogether. No turkey. No stuffing. (But definitely mashed potatoes, because what is this, anarchy?) When Nolan asked me what I wanted to do for the holiday this year, I thought, "I just want to hide." We decided to go to Angelfire, NM, a place that I absolutely adore, rent a cabin in the woods for the weekend, and grill steaks for Thanksgiving. Selfishly, I told Nolan, "I just don't want to cook for anyone else this year. I'm busy with the show, and gearing up to do the manic week of baking for our company, I just want to rest over the holiday." And instead of telling me what a selfish thing that was, he sweetly began researching cabins for me.
I was checking things off my list Tuesday, getting us ready to leave for my weekend of solitude, when Nolan got a call from my sister-in-law in Denver. "I'm in the emergency room with Dad..." and that they were not letting him leave the hospital without a pacemaker.
It's a scary thing, when you're five hundred miles away from your father and can't do anything to help. My big, strong, stoic Nolan was scared, so that means I was scared times a million.
And it doesn't help that my father-in-law is someone who has what can only be called a commanding presence. Jerry is always ready with a joke, but he's also in charge... of whatever happens to be going on. He's strong. He hasn't made to the the 70 year-old mark, either, and I've always thought of him as someone in perpetual motion. He always has a project going, he's always working, even though he's retired. He and my mother-in-law are always going on a trip or planning the next one. He takes care of everything, much like my Nolan. We just don't have to worry when Jerry is around.
So when he got stopped, it was scary for us all. My family immediately switched gears, got on the very first plane to Denver, and drove immediately to the hospital. We visited with Jerry for a few minutes, and he seemed... well, the word I used was 'fine-ish.' His color was off, and he seemed subdued, but was in good spirits. The next morning, before his surgery, he was the same, but afterward, and I mean immediately afterwards, the man looked as if he could have leapt from the bed and run a marathon.
Praise the Lord. (I do not mean that in the slang, ironic way that it's bandied about these days. I sincerely PRAISE my Lord God.) I praise God that Jerry wasn't out of the country on vacation when this happened. I praise God that he was able to go to a hospital with the technology to diagnose and repair his heart, and I praise God that his family was able to be with him throughout the entire ordeal, and that there was absolutely no hitch in the proceedings.
On this day that our country celebrates Thanksgiving, I'm truly thankful. I'm probably more thankful than I've ever been in my life. We've stayed with Nolan's sister Jennifer and her family over the past few days, and amidst the hospital visits, the cousins playing at top volume, a flurry of holiday baking and prep work, and more family time than you can shake a stick at, I realized that I've never been happier. I thought I wanted peace and quiet for Thanksgiving, but I'm not missing my cabin in the woods in the least. Being alone isn't what this particular holiday is all about. It's about family. It's about friends. It's about counting your blessings. (And it's about mashed potatoes. I mean, come on.)
The best part? Jerry gets discharged from the hospital this morning with a new lease on life, feeling better than he has in some time, and will get to eat Thanksgiving dinner with his family. With all of us. Because God works all things together for the good of those who love Him.
Happy Thanksgiving, indeed.