giving thanks

Giving Thanks

With the changing leaves and falling temperatures, there's no doubt that fall is here! As mothers, we always try to stay a step ahead of the chaos and this month we're taking some time to share our thoughts on holiday celebrations, family traditions and maybe some new ideas about how to enjoy the upcoming season. So grab that cup of cinnamon-spiced coffee, prop your feet up on a pumpkin and enjoy what our writers have to say this month. ~TMC It’s October, which means November is just around the corner.  November, the month of my favorite holiday: Thanksgiving.  To me, the holiday evokes feelings of warmth, security, and comfort.  Friends and family gathered around the table, laughing, chiding, enjoying the harvest’s bounty.  Yes, it’s my favorite holiday.  Whether we’re in North Carolina with my family, or at the Isle of Palms with my husband’s family – it is definitely my favorite day of the year.

I can’t help but ponder how this year will work out -

A little background: my father was diagnosed with bladder cancer nearly four years ago.   After three and a half years of “taking it easy” (in the scheme of cancer treatment options), his doctors had a wake up call this year: old tumors, thought to have been thwarted by previous, localized treatments, were becoming more aggressive and reappearing with too much frequency.  Then came the news that tumors were developing in my father’s ureter, and possibly, a kidney (upon being scoped, his ureter was too full of tumors to properly view the kidney).  And so, this summer my father embarked upon chemotherapy.  Watching him come through his treatments has been astounding.  Per his request, my family continued the annual camping trip in the North Carolina mountains.  Looking at my father, you’d never know he left the camping trip mid-week to journey to UNC for his chemotherapy, and return for the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.  In the past week, we've received the finalized dates for his cystotomy (bladder removal), with the possibility of a nephrectomoy and prostatectomy (kidney and prostate removal) – scheduled the week of Thanksgiving.

How fitting, I muse, that this surgery is scheduled the week in which we celebrate giving thanks.  I am so thankful to this man, who raised me, and provided me with so many memories.  I was most definitely a “Daddy’s girl,” and many childhood memories evolve around him.  Simple memories – riding in his truck, oldies on the radio, singing, while doing such mundane chores as taking trash to the landfill – evoke feelings of love and comfort.  For me, one of the hardest adjustments to adulthood, has been living away from my father.  Communicating has been difficult, as he is not much of a phone talker (unlike my mother), and so phone conversations seem lackluster.  In his presence though, words don’t have to be said – simply sitting alongside him is enough.  He has been strong, steadfast, since his diagnosis.  Determined to fight, I have been amazed by his strength and attitude.  I sit and ponder, thinking.  My father is amazing. I hope my daughter has that attitude towards her father.

Father and Daughter

The father-daughter bond is something special to behold.  While for a long time (seemingly, forever) my daughter wouldn't let me out of her sight. Now at 17 months old, it’s wonderful to my husband and her together: her excitement at his arrival at home after work, the happiness she gets from a “pony ride” on her daddy, watching her take his hand and insisting he walk with her.  These special moments are forming the bond that will last a lifetime.  It is certainly a wonderful thing to watch and be thankful for.