There’s No Place Like Home

Every year I get cranky as we near thanksgiving.

There’s the dinner preparation with multiple trips to the grocery store. Concerns about overeating. The temptation of leftovers in the days that follow. Political fights at the dinner table. Worse, before the leftovers from dinner are even packed away in the refrigerator, the Black Friday flyers are waiting to remind us the Christmas craziness is about to follow.

I like routine and control. For me, both get lost in the holiday shuffle.

In the midst of my grumbling, though, I often remember the Thanksgiving morning I sat in the hospital with my fifteen-month-old.

Twenty-one years ago, my daughter broke her femur, a bone in the thigh. It happened while lying down and another young child took hold of her foot just as she decided to roll over. The twisted bone splintered like a healthy twig. Ouch. (I still shudder).

Somewhere between breaking the bone and emergency room X-rays, she’d developed a bad fever, common with broken bones. The next six days were spent sitting next to her hospital crib 24/7, where she lay in traction. Surgery could not be performed until the fever broke.

For the record, a one year old forced to stay on her back for six days is something I’d ever want to repeat, although to my daughter’s credit, she rarely complained.

Wednesday afternoon, Thanksgiving Eve, the fever broke. The problem? As the nurse explained, “Most of the surgeons have left to start their own Thanksgiving celebration. Unless it’s an emergency, you’ll have to wait until Friday.”

So, what’s a mother to do? I begged, pleaded, cried and made an all out pain in the butt of myself. All that mattered was getting home for Thanksgiving, even though we had none of the trimmings to fully enjoy the day.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday night, a nursed walked into the room. “A doctor said he’ll stay late to do your daughter’s surgery. However, he made no promises she’ll be released tomorrow.”

The next morning, as I waited for the verdict, I came to see how much the routine of every holiday really meant to me. No, I hadn’t shopped, cooked or had to the house clean for others, but boy-oh-boy did I want to.

This year, when I gather with my loved ones on Thanksgiving Day, I’ll remember to treat each second with the gratitude I’d felt upon our release from the hospital so long ago.

Happy thanksgiving! Please join me and share any of your own special thanksgiving memories.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!


10 responses to “There’s No Place Like Home

  1. Terri-Lynne DeFino

    That made me a bit teary. I can’t even imagine keeping a 15 month old still for that long. Poor darling. Poor mama!

    The first truly thankful Thanksgiving memory that came to mind was the year after my baby sister’s cancer/chemo. She started chemo around Thanksgiving the year prior, and was to have six months of therapy. I went to her house to visit with her every Thursday, because chemo was Monday, and she was flat out sick Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday was the day she started feeling better, so that’s what we did. Every Thursday for six months. I watched her emaciate, lose her hair, fear, fight. I never cried, only held her while she did. I had to be strong, because she just wasn’t strong enough.

    Come spring, she was on the mend, went back to work, went back to her life. I went back to mine. We have always chatted on the phone at least once a week. The phone calls came more frequently, because though the cancer was in remission and she was looking more and more herself, the fear was a bit more stubborn.

    Come that next Thanksgiving, I’d not made the trek over the mountain to my sister’s house in quiet some time. Driving there that day, I realized how lucky I was to have her, how close I came to losing her. I get a bit choked up whenever I think of that Thanksgiving–like right now. But it’s a good kind of teary.

    Happy Thanksgiving, love! Hope you and yours have a FABULOUS day.

    • Wow, Terri. Now you’ve got me all teary-eyed! What a beautiful story. I’m so glad to hear your sister is in remission. You know, even though I’ll belly-ache about the added work to celebrate the day, guess if it takes a national holiday to get us all to stop and reflect on life then it’s worth the extra fuss. Thanks for sharing such heartfelt thoughts. Have a fabulous thanksgiving!

  2. That’s a very touching story,. Sharon. You brought tears to my eyes. Thanks so much for sharing it. An ugly day with a beautiful lesson. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. ❤

    • Hi Joanne, I cried a bit while writing that post, too. I know it’s not the worst thing that could’ve happened to us, but that didn’t make some moments any easier. Hope you and your family have a wonderful thanksgiving! Thanks for posting.

  3. Wow! Both of your stories go straight to my heart. I’m so glad that both of your tales ended in happily ever afters. Wishing you a wonderful Turkey Day.

  4. Wonderful post full of love!


    Hi Sharon!

    We enjoyed your latest musings very much. They are so appropriate for a holiday when one has such concerns about a family member. We well recall the agony you experienced when Nicole broke her femur. In fact, Hans flew up after Nicole was released from the hospital to be with you guys. Sue stayed behind in Winter Park.�

    We both hope that you all had a great Thanksgiving with your entire family. Lots of love, Sue and Hans

    • Hi Hans and Sue,
      Yes, Hans, we were very thankful to have you come to us druing that tough time. Thank goodness all the other thanksgivings have been without any broken bones or problems.

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