Today, when we were asked to say what we were thankful for, I couldn’t decide. Was is the legs that carried me swiftly through the Turkey Trot that I ran this morning? Was it the friends that I joined for breakfast and Parade viewing? Was it the husband that I was lucky enough to have woken up next to? Perhaps it was the paycheck that deposited into my account, or the food that was about to be served?
I am grateful for all of those things, but I was a little sad. I missed my family. I missed my traditions. I FaceTimed my parents. My grandmother appears to have failing health. We don’t know how much longer we have with her. My grandmother, the QUEEN of Thanksgiving, was spending her holiday in the hospital. The woman who grew up in rural West Virginia, whose father was killed at a gas station when she was a young girl, who survived an abusive marriage to a drunk, who raised her own three children along with her second husband’s four children in a three bedroom house, who has lived alone since Pap died, who makes the best sugar cookies known in this wide world, is spending her favorite holiday in a hospital bed. It breaks my heart.
My grandmother, is a rock, and has been for my entire life. I would spend weeks with her and my grandfather in the summer as a child. I loved it. I had my grandparents all to myself for a time. They took me to stay in my first hotel. Grandma gave me the gift of THE WIZARD OF OZ. We would go to church. We would go to fairs and spend days outside in their garden. This woman that gave me a great majority of my childhood memories, is slipping from my grasp and I hate it.
But the time we have had together? THAT is what I am thankful for. I am thankful for summers of childhood. I am thankful that this pillar and matriarch celebrated at my wedding. I am grateful that she got to see me perform the role of Dorothy in the show that is so special to us. I rejoice in the cookies that I will make this Christmas, and every Christmas until the day my time on earth is done. I am thankful for Shirley Rae Dayoub. I am thankful for Grandma.