This week, Kenneth Morgan dwells on Turkey Days of years gone by.
This week, I was asked to write an article about a good and memorable Thanksgiving Day in my past. Personally, I had no problem with this; I’m sure you won’t get upset at having to wait for my review of “Angry Red Planet”. But, I’m going to have to alter the premise a bit. You see, every Thanksgiving Day is a good and memorable one for me. That’s because, for a while, I had a run of really rotten Turkey Days. I’ll explain:
In mid-November of 1991, I was told that I went into the hospital for abdominal surgery. To be specific, doctors performed an illeostomy; to be general, they rearranged my internal plumbing. Due to complications, I was hospitalized for a solid month. So, that year, I spent Thanksgiving in bed, doped up on a variety of medications and connected to various bits of medical technology via various tubes. I recall seeing some of the Macy’s Parade, and some of my family visited. But, on the whole, it was a miserable day. Plus, no MST3K! (On a side note, that provided an odd experience, later. My stitches pulled and hurt whenever I laughed. When I got back home, I watched the “Posture Pals” short and suffered what could only be called “hilarious agony”.)
Flash forward about a year. In mid-October of 1992, my parents retired and moved up to our ancestral home in Pennsylvania. I was sharing our old house with my brother Pat, my other brothers having found other digs. Just before Thanksgiving, my Dad’s father passed away following an illness. That year, I spent the day before Thanksgiving serving as a pallbearer. The following day, with my family scattered and Pat with his friends, I had dinner alone. Plus, I had to fill in for the holiday at my radio job. Actually, that wasn’t too bad; it got my mind off things.
Over the next couple of years, it was pretty much the same thing. My brothers Bruce and Don, both married, spent Thanksgiving with their respective families. Mom and Dad were up in Pennsylvania with my Mom’s parents, who by that time were in, respectively, a senior care home (Grandpa) and a nursing home (Grandma). My brother Brian (a frequent contributor to “Caption This!”) had moved in with me and Pat. But, they both had other plans for Thanksgiving. So, there I was, alone with my dinner and watching the clock to get to work. I did watch some MST3K (one time it was the extremely funny “The Violent Years”), but it didn’t really help.
By 1995, I’d had just about enough. I went to my parents and asked (correction, begged) them to come back to Jersey for Thanksgiving. They agreed, thank heavens. That year, and each year since, we’ve had a real Thanksgiving dinner. Pat and Bri are there, as are my brother Don’s family. My brother Bruce’s family usually has dinner with his in-laws, but they make it here in time for dessert. And I’m happy. I don’t even mind when I’ve got a TV or radio slot to do; I know that at least part of the day went fine.
So, you see, every Thanksgiving Day is a good one for me. Having seen low I could get on Turkey Day, practically anything would be an improvement. But, still, things have worked out fine. Since I come from a large family, I just can’t spend a happy Thanksgiving Day alone. Now, I know I won’t have to.
Besides, my Mom is an infinitely better cook than I am.
ADDENDUM: Well, things have taken a turn for the worse, lately.
As I previously posted, my brother Brian passed away suddenly last month. It was unexpected, and it hit us all very hard. My family has suffered losses during or near the Holiday season before, and it hasn’t gotten better; we’ve just gotten used to it.
Still, it won’t be too sad. My brother Bruce has invited me, my brother Pat, and my Mom over to his place for dinner with his family. My Mom is glad about that, since dinner with just the three of us, with an empty chair at the table, would’ve been tough. And my brother Don might be able to stop by later, I hope. Believe me; all this really helps.
So, I’ll just say that, in spite of recent troubles, I still have many blessings to be thankful for. And I hope you do, as well.
Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving, folks.
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