This holiday finds me at the hospital in Joplin where I have spent the night at the bedside of an old and dear friend. My friend's wife has been here every night at his bedside since he was admitted a week ago yesterday. Last night she went home to refresh and sleep in her own bed while I stayed the vigil.
My friend is still in a coma and the prognosis still is not good. It is all very sad, especially with the holiday season rolling in. His family and friends will have to struggle to find any joys in the season.
My sister and I were supposed to be in New York City this Thanksgiving watching the family parade, but that trip was cancelled after a few of the travelers became worried about the possibility of terrorism in the Big Apple. And while I resented the cancellation at first, it turned out to be fortunate because of my friend's medical catastrophe.
As I reflect on Thanksgivings of the past, a few stand out. When I was about nine or ten-years-old, there were two years in a row when we had the first snowfalls of the season on Thanksgiving Day - heavy snowfalls. Last year there was only one day in West Plains when the ground was white - and that was in March and the ground was just barely white. Climate change is very, very real.
The other memorable Thanksgiving was in 2010 when two friends (Kelly and Murphy) and I went to Korea for the holiday. We were staying at a U.S. military hotel in Seoul. My friends had other plans on the evening of Thanksgiving - or they were holed up in the hotel bar - and I decided to enjoy the traditional Thanksgiving dinner that was being offered in the hotel restaurant. It was a wonderful meal of turkey and dressing with all the trimmings, and I either overate, which is likely, or suffered food poisoning, because I was deathly ill for the remainder of the night.
When a person is young, they think in terms of snowfalls and the wonders of nature - but as we age our thoughts turn to medical issues.
It's Thanksgiving - hug your family and have a wonderful day!