Flu for Thanksgiving | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Monday, November 17, 2008

Flu for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2003 was a memorable one for many reasons. It was our first holiday season in Arizona, far away from our large families in Utah. We moved to Mesa because Joel had started working on his doctorate at Arizona State University that fall and, as poor students, there was no way we could put together the fundage to go home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Christmas was a longer break, so it was the obvious choice.

Instead, my parents and my younger brother decided to come to us for Thanksgiving. We were happy to have a little bit of family around and excitedly prepared for the first Thanksgiving we would ever host. Joel made the turkey and most of the other feast items. I did all the baking of pies and also made my grandmother's traditional green jello salad. My family can't have Thanksgiving Day without it, although Joel hates it and would love to see it not make an appearance during the holidays ever again. Too bad for him, though. Tradition, you know?

Nate and my parents flew in on Thanksgiving Day, and drove up to our house just as the turkey came out of the oven. We had a lovely dinner together and spent the evening catching up and enjoying one another's company.

Later that night, Bria (age 3) came down with an alarmingly high fever. I don't have all of my facts straight in my head anymore, but I remember going to the emergency room with her and waiting several hours to see a doctor, only to be told nothing. I remember we took her to the pediatrician a few days later since she was still refusing to eat or drink and was completely lethargic. Sometime in there my mom came down with the same bug, and it hit her hard. We were able to take her to the urgent care and get her something to take. Chloe (8 months) and I also got pretty sick, although neither of us were as bad off as Bria or Mamah.

The rest of our Thanksgiving weekend, which I had so looked forward to, was ruined. We spent it in bed, watching tv and worrying about Bria who was always asleep on the bed near us. As I look back on it now, I have to giggle a little at our pathetic state, but at the time it was certainly no laughing matter!

That year, I was more grateful than ever for family. I missed them fiercely at our dinner that night and was so happy to have three of them there with us. I realized how thankful I should be for my own little family, whom I saw daily and maybe took for granted. I knew my kids would grow up faster than I could imagine and that I needed to make the most of my time with them. I also contemplated more on our (generally) good health as we struggled with the nasty flu bug. I was feeling blessed that we didn't have significant health problems that would interfere with living our day-to-day lives.

I am still grateful for family and for health. They are two blessings that many people aren't lucky enough to have. After thinking about it some, I have realized that all the money in the world can't make up for the lack of wonderful parents, siblings, spouses and children. Nor can it make up for the lack of health. I am rich, indeed--it just took several hundred miles and the family flu to help me realize it!

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Written for Scribbit's November Write-Away contest.

19 comments :

  1. Great Post !

    We have spent many a year away from our loved ones...just to have a "taste of them" with you on a holiday, even with the yucky flu to gum up your plans, makes you recall all your blessings.

    I. too am very grateful for our general good health and our dear families, near and far !

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  2. I'm with you. I love the holidays because I get to spend them with family. Even with the flu to damper it, it's nice to have them around.

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  3. What would we do without our families. It is awful to be sick and even worse to have sick kids on Thanksgiving.

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  4. I come from a family of eight kids. On top of that, my dad was a school teacher, so we had germs in droves at our house. We all came down with the flu every single stinkin' Thanksgiving or Christmas. I remeber one year as we waited at the top of the stairs for my dad to give us the go ahead to come racing down and discover santa's bounty, one of my older sisters taking bets on which one of us would throw up next. I think it was me, right after I opened all my presents. Good times, good times . ..

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  5. What memories! Good AND bad. And this year you will be closer to family. I hope no one gets sick this time around!

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  6. Oh my, I remember that so well! It was horrible! I remember worrying about Bria, she was so so sick! So grateful we all got through that one ey?

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  7. What a GREAT post!! It really puts things into perspective! I would die without my family!

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  8. WHAT? YOU didn't puke? That's the surprising part. and there's nothing like vomit to make a person grateful. :)

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  9. I love this post, because it's so real!

    (And the flu stinks. At any time of the year.)

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  10. It's looking like it's just going to be me and Adam for Thanksgiving this year, which I'm OK with. I'm glad that I will be with my family, even if it's small.

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  11. Life sure is funny that way, isn't it? I'm glad the flu virus can be useful in some way. :D

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  12. Great post!

    Thank you for the reminder... and thank you too for all of your posts they help me each day.

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  13. Reminds me of our "Christmas of Death" when Grace was a year old. 17 down with food poisoning on Christmas Eve. Not pretty!

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  14. Beautiful.

    Glad everything's okay this year!

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  15. I remember that Lara. Miserable. I am, however, elated that we get to spend Thanksgiving with you guys this year!!! (hopefully, with no flu bugs running around)

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  16. Dang........
    You should email that to 12news. They're looking for "disaster Thanksgiving stories". This year we're going to Pinetop/Lakeside to a rented loft cabin. Why? Long story. Maybe I should post it on my blog, but family members might take it the wrong way! lol But here is the gist...2 years ago was our first Thanksgiving alone as a family because earlier that year, all our family moved (abandoned) away! We can take it personally, but that wasn't it. Everyone (on both sides) all left for different reasons at diff times in 2006. it's just weird that it all happened in 06'. My mom couldn't take the climate anymore and she sold the house and made a good profit and SPLIT, my brother soon followed her to Idaho, Chris's sister went to Wisconsin for another job transfer thanks to her DH moving his family around the country AGAIN, Chris's dad was leaving on a mission and they would move to Oregon after that. So this year, since we'd be alone again, I said, "we're leaving town! If we're spending this alone, we're starting our own tradition!" And there you have it. :-)

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  17. Baby fevers can be so scary! I'm glad everyone became healthy eventually. Such a sad memory, but good perspective.

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