(I never got the chance to write my thankful post that I had planned to do on Thursday, the day turned into a blur. An awesome blur, but a blur just the same)
Wednesday I rolled up my sleaves, dug in and got to work. I baked and prepared everything for our dinner that I possibly could ahead of time, and spent the rest of the day calling people who were contributing food to the Thanksgiving dinners at Emmanuel and the VA, answering the door and the phone, and printing off checklists and directions by the dozen. My two drivers were do to arrive at 9:00 p.m. to load the cars, so just after 8:00 I began to box and sort food. By 9:oo or so we braved the pouring rain and loaded up all the cars.
Thursday morning my alarm went screaming off and I hauled myself out of bed. I stuffed the turkey and got it roasting, got the rolls out to raise, and then got ready for the day. At 8:30 my friend arrived with her loaded car and we headed into Portland. Upon our arrival at Emmanuel Children’s Hospital we unloaded and began to set everything up. This was the first time when I was available for all the set up and preparations. We had a lot of fun as we chatted and laughed while warming up the food and setting up the tables. Just before serving time at noon, I began my walk around the hospital reminding all the nurses to come and eat and to send the patients and their families over to eat as well. Just as I finished making the rounds Paul arrived with the kids.
It was a wonderful experience as we visited with the partakers of the feast, sharing encouragement and sharing in the small and large joys, as well as sorrows and frustrations. Upon hearing about Jacob two hospital staff mentioned they were on the transport team and mentioned they probably had flown him in. I told them that it was a young man who took care of Jacob from the transport team and that I had always wanted to run into him again. He had stopped by a few times while Jacob was in ICU to check up on his progress, but I never got the chance to get his name and thank him for all he did. They new exactly who it was, told me he had moved to Arkansas, and gave me his e-mail. Then, to make things even better they told us that they had just barely seen Jacob’s surgeon, Dr. Iguidbashian, in the ICU.
Paul and I snatched our camera (I had never had the opportunity to take a photo of the surgeon with Jacob) and Jacob and headed down to the ICU. We were greeted by our favorite nurse who confirmed that Dr. Iguidbashian was indeed in the ICU and went to find him. Grins and thanks were offered all around as we showed off how big our boy had grown and how grateful we were for all we had received. The surgeon was thrilled to see how well Jacob was. On of the ICU nurses took a group photo for us with the surgeon and favorite nurse. We felt so fortunate to see them and delighted in one of the many highlights of the day.
Some how it seemed that we did more, reached out to more people, and really made a difference. Not that we hadn’t during previous dinners, but this one just seemed more so. We finally wrapped up the dinner at 2:30 and at 3:00 I headed towards home while Paul finished cleaning up. When I hit home I finished up our Thanksgiving dinner.
When we finally settled down for dinner around 5:30 – 6:00 we revisited our day and all the marvelous reasons we had to truly give thanks this day. A beautiful miracle of the selflessness of all who pitched in at the last minute to bring happiness to this day for those in a not so happy place. By the time all was said and done, I was too tired to even think about writing, which is why I didn’t post this until now. (combined with lots of other busy events over the week-end I’ll write about soon).
Hoping you had a marvelous Day of Thanks, with lots of reasons to be thankful.