Before Covid we would have a big family gathering with one side of the family every Thanksgiving. I thought this would happen this year finally but as the date got closer I realized I hadn’t heard anything and I better figure out something for us to do.
That meant figure out food to take out because between my lack of cooking skills and having five kids I wasn’t making a Thanksgiving dinner! Thankfully the cafe we ordered from the past two years was still offering packages and we didn’t have to cook.
The day of Thanksgiving I thought about taking the boys to the local high school football game since the weather was going to be warm. But we took our time that morning eating a big breakfast and watching the parade so by the time I thought about going it would be too late. The boys also wanted to watch Ronaldo play and Portugal was playing the same time as the football game. So we missed the high school game but all was good as we hung out at home.
With the beautiful weather, we spent a lot of time playing out back, switching between games of soccer and basketball. I won all games of H-O-R-S-E we played. Yes I can still shoot and yes I’m still extremely competitive.
I didn’t want my dad to be alone for the holiday so he came over when we were going to eat. Despite spending a good amount of time running around outside, the kids were still full of energy and quite loud. A little too loud for my father who is not used to the chaos of dinner time with five kids ages 8 and under.
I began to think maybe I shouldn’t have invited him, the food hasn’t even been served yet and it’s already crazy. But eventually as the food got warmed things settled down slightly and we all got to enjoy the meal.
There were a lot of sports to watch this day between the World Cup, college basketball tournaments and the NFL games. The second NFL game featured the two teams that as an Eagles fan I hate the most so I really wanted neither team to win. Our two favorite college basketball teams were both playing, UNC, where my brother went and Dayton, where my dad went. Carolina struggled and barely beat Portland and then Dayton lost to NC State. Not exactly the results we wanted but at least there was a lot to flip back and forth to.
I was so wiped out by the end of the day that I couldn’t wait to get into my bed. It was not a normal Thanksgiving but that didn’t matter. What mattered is that I am here and healthy and got to spend time with my favorite people. It didn’t matter that the kids were rowdy at dinner, that we didn’t get to the football game or that I didn’t prepare a single thing we ate. What mattered is I spent the day with the people I love most and we enjoyed a big meal together.
I have so much to be thankful for this year. A year after being diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant and being nervous as hell about what lie ahead, I am cancer free and healthy. I have a healthy baby boy that went through half my chemo with me and is such a ray of sunshine and such a blessing. I am lucky. I am grateful. I am blessed. And that is all that mattered this Thanksgiving.
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