Thanksgiving at our house was a little different this year. Every year, my mom makes this huge meal, and all 20 or so of us meet at her house to indulge ourselves. This year, my sister and I took over all of the cooking duties. She was in charge of the turkey and dessert, and I made all the sides.
My dad recently made his way home from the hospital, after not being so sure he ever would. About two weeks ago, he had a stress test done, and the doctor thought he had a small blockage. Turns out, they had underestimated the extent of it. When he went in to get stint put in, things took a turn for the worse. He ended up needing a second surgery, where he had 5 bypasses done.
It was the scariest day of my life. All those thoughts of what might happen, what could happen, what would change. Thankfully, he has pulled through with an amazing attitude. I'm realizing just how strong and determined he is.
On Thanksgiving, after being home two days, he stood up to say his thanks before the meal. His words can out with a bit of a shake, "I'm thankful that I have all of you here, and that I'm still here with you." There was nothing I could do to avoid tearing up, and looking around, no one else could either. I tried to focus on the grilled cheese I was making for an oh-so-picky 4-year-old, but it was no use. I laid down my spatula and slipped away to the bathroom to keep my tears to myself. I fixed my make-up quickly and returned to my post at the stove.
My dad is not the type to easily share his feelings. I've seen a lot of changes in the last week, in him and in all of us. I can easily say, I am most thankful for my family this year, especially the chance to spend more holidays with all of them. Nothing else could mean more to me.