Posted by: shelleyjomoozings | November 28, 2008

The Best Thanksgiving

Today was a very good day. Recently my bother had to go to the local hospital with congestive heart failure which had flaired up again because his kidneys were not working. He was full of too much fluid. It has been a rough year for him this year, and for the whole family.

Tuesday he had to have surgery to have a dialysis cath put in his heart, and then he waited hours to have the dialysis. It was the first kidney dialysis treatment, so it was a bit nervewracking for him, and for us. It went very well, but took hours! I stayed through it, thinking I could just leave when I needed to. But, he was needing his wife and I to stay through it all, so we did. It was an amazing thing to see.

We were concerned this would mean he had to stay on dialysis treatments, and that would mean he couldn’t return to work, but he did so well after that first one that he may have just one more, or none at all and then get to go back home.

Today, he is alert and happy, doesn’t hurt and I can tell he feels better than he has in a very long time.

My sister-in-love, Teri has been a real trooper, being at the hospital early, staying through the day and into the evening or even night when needed. She is tired though.

So, knowing that her family is gathering for Thanksgiving today, I told her to feel free to go and spend as much of the day as she wanted with them and enjoy herself. Not to worry as I will come and spend the day just hanging out with him and will call her if she is needed.

I spent the morning prepping veges and fruit, that sort of thing so I can just toss salads or meals together quickly for the rest of this week, then I headed on over to visit my brother.

He is doing SO very well. I am happy. This was one of the best Thanksgiving days I can remember. It is funny how tradition and patterns can just change as needed and the change brings you as much happiness as the old ways did! I didn’t need anything as usual. I just wanted to be with him. We watched a marathon of The Closer, which we found out we both really like. We didn’t have to have conversation, or any special thing. He is the special thing. I appreciate his life and the level of health he is in today, this day.

The other blessing about today which was such a gift to us is our friendships. My practically life-long friend Linda had invited my husband, Gene and I over to her new house for Thanksgiving dinner. She had at least 10 people there, family and friends. But I wanted to be with him and my brother today.

When Linda and her daughter, Diane kept telling me they were available to do whatever we need, I finally got brave and asked for dinner-to-go today! I can’t believe I even thought of that, much less asked. In the past I would have thought it brash or brazen. This year, it just sounded good. LOL! Anyway, not only was that fine, but Diane delivered! How many get Thanksgiving dinner (with trimmings and dessert) special delivery?

Diane and her big brother, Danny (visiting home for the holiday) swung by to pick Gene up, and brought him and the dinner with dessert (Apple pie) to the hospital room we were in. They brought pretty Thanksgiving napkins and plastic ware, the works. Too sweet!

It was wonderful to see Danny again. I haven’t seen him at all in a couple of years, and he was busy being in his sister’s wedding then. It had been a couple of years before then, so this was a special treat, like a bonus.

I have been remembering when these kids were tiny. I “babysat” them for a few hours for their mom in between my work shifts. Danny was a tiny little guy, and Diane was a toddler. One day we were at McDonald’s so they could get a coke to sip and play in the play area there. It was bad weather out, but they needed something fun to get away to, so off to McD’s we went.

The two were sitting on a seat in this round thing that twirled in a circle. They were together on one bench on the same side and along came these larger boys. They were bulkier, taller, older and seemed like bullies. They got on, laughed at the kids, jabbed each other then moved to the opposite bench to look the kids in the eye. So I moved closer to see and hear clearly while trying to stay out of the way.

The two older boys started saying things to make the kids feel ‘small’, and one said something to Diane, while the other was laughing. It was to make her feel insecure. NOT! They obviously didn’t know this little girl… and they certainly didn’t know her big brother! He put his little arm around her shoulders and told them in no uncertain terms to leave his little sister alone. His words at the end were, this is MY sister! They looked at him like it was a joke, asking what he was ‘going to do about it’. I moved to stand behind him and gave them this look like they were the stupidest kids I had EVER seen, so they looked at him, looked at me, looked at him, then at each other and got off the ride. (I had stepped back considerably so they would pay attention to Danny’s face and realize I wasn’t their threat.) LOL! Now THAT is a big brother for a little blondie, pixie-faced sister, alright. He has always been her best friend and defender. I love them. And these two were our Thanksgiving dinner-delivery team! They stayed and visited a bit, Diane with her big brother, and me with mine and my husband.

Can you even imagine the blessing in this? And, Danny was so kind and friendly to my brother and husband, as well. Very respectful, and fun at the same time. Such good kids…I mean young adults…I mean…oh heck!…kids!!!! Danny and I had a great time deciding to keep in closer touch so we can pick on Diane. She had “the look” I remember so well. Ah, bliss! A total flashback to a happy time.

My husband had a very good visit with my brother after enjoying his dinner and dessert. Then, when he noticed I kept going to the roommate and taking care of him (a senior who is confused and trying to make a break for it – but tethereed to cables, wires and tubing), he started watching over him, going to him and caring for him very gently. It was so sweet to see the happy smile on his face every time he got to help this man. My husband was a CNA for 40 years and cannot work anymore due to his own physical pain, so this was special. He, like me, has always loved his job and loves caring for others.

Overall, from beginning to end, a very special and thankful Thanksgiving. I started the day on facebook listing a few things I was thankful for, and I am finishing this day with my thankful list.

I thank you, Lord my Creator and Savior for: life, for health, for family, for friends, for wonderful food and good plastic containers, tableware, and for pretty napkins.

I thank You for ability to help others-even while needing help ourselves!  I thank you for clean water, heaters, air conditioners, for a job I love and enjoy, for laughter and fun and all the precious people You bring into our lives. And for bringing us into theirs. We all need each other.

I am thankful to be weak enough to realize the depths of love and care in others, and to be on the recieving end. I am thankful to be strong enough to share love and care with others, to be on the giving end.

You are such a great and awesome God! I thank You for YOU! Bless You, Lord!



  1. Hi Shelley.

    You are a blessing Shelley. You blessed ME for letting me help you out and bless you! And it really was awesome to get some time with Gene. It really has been years since Gene and I have talked, and quite honestly I did not know he actually cared so much for me. His heart is SO genuine, and he warmed my heart with his words to me. You have a special man. I knew this, but it has been so long since I have gotten time with him.

    Danny greatly enjoyed our time with you guys and was SO impressed with Gene too. It was a blessing to share the Brother/Sister thing together and have your hubby there too.

    I know it is hard to ask for anything, but others are blessed in being able to help too. And I was blessed to actually be able to be physically okay enough to come and bless someone else.

    I love you Shelley. And thanks for sharing the McD’s story. It just confirms what I already know about my brother! Keep in touch.

    Love you.

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