Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Thanksgiving That Wasn't (But So Much To Be Thankful For)

Earlier this week our family got the news that my Dad was to be admitted to the hospital for some very intense Cancer treatments.

We were thankful that his procedures could be scheduled much sooner than anticipated, but it also threw a wrench into our small-town, down-home Thanksgiving plans.
I am thankful to be part of a close-knit, understanding and flexible family though.
Rather than gathering around a traditional table and taking traditional family photos, my Mom, my five younger sisters, brother-in-laws, my girls and I spent most of the Holiday week in Portland, Oregon - much of it in and around my Dad's hospital room.

This number of people made for crowded quarters and sometimes not a lot of rest for my Dad I'm sure, but he enjoyed having family around and keeping him company (hospitals can get boring!!).
I am so thankful for the hospital staff who worked around all of us, sometimes having to step over Grandkids on computers or sisters sitting on the bed. Thankful too, for the wonderful care they gave my Dad.

We tried to trade off - regardless of the situation, stress tends to make even the calmest family a bit edgy - and I needed to keep my restless kids busy in the hospital environment as well.
Fortunately the hospital's wi-fi provided some distraction and my girls tried to introduce their Grandparents to a little technology, and they signed all their Aunties up for the wonderment of FaceBook.
My Mom get very excited and told me how the girls had shown her MyTubes and YourFace on the computer... I love my Mom.

Since all of us girls are seldom in the same place, my Mom also attempted to take some group photos.
Though with six drama queens, no one was ever happy with the way THEY looked and it was QUITE a production.
Regardless of the final pictures, it was nice to have my sisters there. I'm thankful we could all be together.
Portland is a fun city.
I was thankful that it was easy to navigate and very Veg. friendly, (though there wasn't much open around the hospital on Thanksgiving Day).
My girls and I did take a field trip to book lovers Heaven - Powell's Book Store (the largest independent used and new bookstore in the world).
We're all major book-geeks so we had an absolute blast. You wouldn't believe the entire floor-to-celing aisles of every book imaginable, even VEGAN COOKBOOKS.
Lots of fun and funky toys too - Nice distraction for a few hours and we only saw two floors!

And dinner? We had a simple Thanksgiving dinner in my Mom's extended-stay motel room. Mac and cheese, salad, oranges, pies and some misc. (vegan) take out. More to be thankful for, just being able to be together.

My Mom, bless her heart, was so distracted earlier in the week. Who can blame her!?!
.She is always more than accomodating when we have a family meal, but I called her and asked if I could bring anything specifically vegan and she said "Oh no honey, it's fine, you'll have something to eat - we have oranges!"
Oranges, huh?
All I could do was smile. I know she had bigger things to worry about. My kids did find it amusing however, and turned "oranges" into a running joke between us for the entire week.
I really am thankful for my wonderful kids and their sense of humor. We all need to laugh a little, it helps keep things from getting too dark.
Best of all, my Dad responded very positively to the treatments and was able to come home today. For that I am most thankful.
Here's hoping each of you shared the Holiday with those you love.


r said...

This post was truly beautiful, thank you for your positivity and grace and my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Anonymous said...

What a thoughtful and loving post...thank you for the reminder--we really DO have a lot to be grateful for, even when our plans change in a way that does not seem so great. It sounds like you had a nice family Thanksgiving, and THAT is what is important. Not where you spend it or what you eat--just that you are all together :o)

I hope your father is felling better and doing well and that he continues to improve.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cynthia said...

You have such a beautiful heart and spirit.

I'll hold you and your family in my prayers.

Becky said...

I feel so lucky to be a vegan living in Portland. It's a great place to be! I'm glad your family had some fun, even during a tough time.

Chelsea said...

I'm so glad to hear your dad is doing well! I saw your post over on the PPK.

So you're the oldest of 5 sisters? That is just crazy! I know my 2 little sisters drove me nuts when I was a teenager, you must have some great stories!

Glad you got to check out Powell's - I live right up the street from it and have to limit my visits to once a month!

The oranges comment from your mom made me laugh out loud. :)

Cookie said...

You have such a beautiful family! I'm sure that your father is very thankful for all of you, and I'm glad that you all had a good time in spite of the circumstances!! :)

T said...

Sounds like you guys made the best out of a difficult situation. You are lucky to have a family that sticks together like that- its a beautiful thing!

Vegemommy said...

So sorry to hear about the difficult time your dad is going through. It's truly wonderful that you were all there for him.

Vegemommy said...

So sorry to hear about the difficult time your dad is going through. It's truly wonderful that you were all there for him. said...

What a great story! I am glad you are doing Ok. It's refreshing to see fun pictures from the hospital and that you girls have such a sense of humor!

Calimaryn said...

This post made me giggle and cry at the same time. How very wonderful for your entire family to be there with your Dad. How amazing are your kids to be so well behaved that people didn't mind stepping over them! My best wishes for you all and good healing thoughts for your father.

Jen said...

tofu mom,

my eyes have tears in them. this was a very beautiful post that embodied the true spirit of thanksgiving. i'm so sorry your father is sick and i will keep him in my prayers. may he experience some r'fuah and schlemach (hebrew for a complete healing of body, mind, and spirit) soon.

xo jen (jewbacca)

miss v said...

to be able to find the positive family spirit in such a tough time is the epitome of grace. thank you for such a heartwarming thanksgiving post.

Trekkie said...

Hope your Dad is better soon.

julie hasson said...

What a beautiful post. I am so glad your dad is doing better. It's nice that your family could gather around him for his treatment and the holiday.

I cracked up about the oranges ; )

I hope your dad continues to get better quickly!


aTxVegn said...

I'm glad you have a great big loving family to help you through your dad's illness. Having just gone through the same thing with my dad, I know a great hospital staff can make all the difference. I'm glad your dad was able to go home and I hope his condition improves.

Manda said...

my best wishes for your father. It looks like you had a lovely weekend despite and I think it's so heartwarming to see how close your family is. xoxo

PS so glad he's responding well to treatment!!!

Chessa said...

Tofu Mom, this was a wonderful, thoughtful post. Thanks for the reminder of what this holiday is really about.

I LOVE Powells, too! We have to go at least once every time we're in Portland. It's like my church. :)

Also, I wanted to tell you that I've awarded you a Butterfly Award, because yours is a blog I love to read. I know we're new-ish blogging buddies, but your recipes always sound fabulous and I love that you include your family in your blog. As a fellow vegan mom, your blog just speaks to me, so THANKS! :)

Alisa said...

My goodness, I don't think I have ever seen people who were able to have so much fun at a hospital! It looks like you have a wonderful family. Best wishes to your father for a speedy recovery!

Annie said...

I miss your blog!!!!!

Bethany said...

I'm so happy that your dad did well w/ the treatments. Your family is so loving and close knit. I love reading your posts about them.

I'm giving you the proximity award for being such an amazing person.