Fancy Thanksgiving Feast
I sat down at the beautifully set table. The glasses, plates and silverware sparkled and shined. The table cloth was spotless, perhaps even ironed. We bowed our heads as my dad led a prayer to thank God for what He’s brought us, for the Thanksgiving holiday, and for the food we were about to eat. And as the prayer began to wind down, I silently slipped in, “And let me survive this holiday.”
All of the sudden dishes upon dishes of food began dancing on the table, and it seemed as though Handel’s “Messiah” had just started playing as large spoonfuls of goodness galloped onto our plates. The seven layer salad topped with eggs, bacon, ranch dressing, cheese and lettuce broke us into the dinner, with dishes of mac & cheese, cheesy broccoli rice casserole, rolls, cream of mushroomed-green beans, and creamy corn followed. As heaps of food landed on each of our plates, my prayers increased as I began to slowly dive into the meal.
“Remember your boundaries,” I told myself. “Bread first, little bit of everything, don’t let my main dish be dairy, don’t get over-full, save room for dessert.”
I joined in the fun and started the “oohing and aahing” with the rest of the gang gathered around our Thanksgiving feast. I savored flavors and foods that six months ago, I didn’t think I would ever eat again. Flashbacks to my hosptial stay flooded my mind as I vividly remembered what it felt like to lay in the hospital bed and have the nurse come in with new IV bag full of white powdery stuff (TPN) she called my “steak and potatoes” that fed me nutrition through my arm. My dream from six months ago had come true. I could eat again, I could enjoy food without it turning on me, and I could experience the joys of life even without a colon.
This Thanksgiving, I had a new perspective on thankfulness. In the past, my surbanite answers have always been the superficial “family, friends, food and fun” when asked what I was thankful for. But this year as I peered over dish upon dish of casseroles and cakes, I was thankful for something else. I was thankful to be alive. I was thankful for the doctors who helped guide me toward the right decision in surgery, and figured out how to fix the complications once they came. I was thankful to feel normal again. I was thankful that I didn’t end up spending all day in the bathroom, nor get sick over the meal. And I was thankful I could have cheesecake for dessert.