A Different Kind of Thanksgiving

by Tracy Barrett

The theme of blessings in disguise really works for me this year.

Thanksgiving is, hands down, my favorite holiday. My father’s birthday was November 24 and I got married on November 26, so there’s always the chance that Thanksgiving Day will have two celebrations instead of just one. Years ago, when my sister and I were both about six months pregnant, our mother mentioned that the huge turkey we were about to eat weighed 24 pounds, and my brother-in-law told my sister, “That’s how much weight you’ve gained!” so I also celebrate Thanksgiving as The Day Laura Didn’t Kill John.

When my daughter was preparing to go to Bangladesh for a year she was so sad that she was going to miss Thanksgiving that we had the entire feast in August right before she left.

But this year we’re not having a Thanksgiving dinner. We probably won’t be marking the day in any way at all. And that’s okay.

Our family is far-flung and neither of the offspring will be here. My mother died last winter so there’s no gathering around her. My brother and sister are celebrating at their own homes. My husband is an only child, and both his parents are long gone.

We could still have our own celebration, perhaps inviting friends in similar circumstances, but there’s a catch. I’ve been looking at a hip replacement and was planning on doing it next year when things suddenly got bad and the orthopedist managed to squeeze me in on Monday of Thanksgiving week. My husband has been having odd symptoms of something or other that turns out to be spinal stenosis so he’s having surgery on that tomorrow.

So instead of feasting on the traditional dinner we’ll be hobbling around, heating up the things that I’m filling the freezer with right now. But we’ll definitely be thankful. A generation ago, we both would have been facing greatly diminished abilities within a very short time. Even a few years ago we couldn’t have looked for as much improvement as is forecast for both of us now.

So, thank you, modern medicine! We’ll toast you as soon as we’re off the opioids and able to drink wine again!


  1. Happy healing! Here's to an extra wonderful Thanksgiving feast next year!!!

  2. Best wishes to you and your husband for successful surgeries and quick recoveries. Happy Different Kind of Thanksgiving!

    1. Thanks, Jen! I'm in the hospital waiting room right now . . .

  3. Replies
    1. Greg is just about 100% recovered and I'm heading to the hospital in a few minutes for hip no. 2, hoping to be home tomorrow. Thanks for the good wishes!


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