A Happy Canadian Thanksgiving

Our Thanksgiving is not the kick-off to the Christmas shopping season. In fact, stores up here do not adopt the longer shopping hours associated with the season of over-giving until December despite the fact that Christmas decor and related items are already beginning to pop up here and there.

A quick google of the holiday revealed something similar to the history of Thanksgiving in the United States. A stop and start acknowledgment over the course of a couple of centuries, that here in Canada finally found a home of the second Monday of October. A sensible choice really as it means to mark the end of harvest and promote family time, which most folk seem to take quite seriously.

We will have a quiet immediate family supper tonight. The only other family member we could have invited is Rob’s mother, but the drive from the Okanagan is long and expensive and we don’t have the budget for flying her up here right now as we don’t know if I will have to head for the States to help out with Dad.

To quickly update on my dad, he had a doctor appointment today. The fluid around his lungs is building and he is very tired and short of breath most of the time with things becoming more critical when he exerts himself. Exertion has come to be any time he must get up and walk, even if it is just a few steps.

He still went to mass yesterday. He tries to save his energy for that one outing a week. Despite everything, Dad is a very spiritual man and takes his religion quite seriously though he has modified his alignment with some of the teachings that don’t line up with what he has observed in real life*.

Rob woke me in the wee hours with reports of our ghosties renewing activities again. I didn’t see what he did or remember echoing the ghost in my sleep by calling out his name, but I have felt the “presence” in the last few days, so I am not surprised. We had similar issues late last November and leading up to the death of Shelley’s mother. I am sure that this new round of bumps in the night are connected to my dad.

He reported pain for the first time today. His ribs, which are probably cancerous now, hurt. The fact that he mentioned pain is not a good sign. He has a freakishly high tolerance for pain of the excruciating kind. Pain that would turn the rest of us into wimpering babies. When he suffered from crushed vertebrae (three time in the last two years) he made do with regular Tylenol and a heating pad and rarely reported the pain above a 3 or 4 on the scale. If he is in pain enough to bring it up on his own – as opposed to it being dragged our of him as was typical of the past – it must be intolerable.

He has another doctor appointment next Wednesday to discuss putting in a chest tube to drain the fluid. I can’t be sure but I think the doctors are staggering his appointments and their interventions in the hopes that the cancer will “get him” before anything too invasive has to be done. A chest tube is painful and limits mobility my home health care nurse BFF tells me. I hope he doesn’t have to go there.

My guess, though, is that dad will not make November.

We had talked of visiting over BabyD’s fall break but that is still a month away and if he is still alive, the atmosphere will likely be decidedly death-ish. I am not willing to expose BabyD or Rob to that. And since Dad is still telling me that I don’t need to come (and I really should for mom’s sake – she is suffering terribly and I know too well how awful the whole “widow in waiting” period is), I think he doesn’t want to expose me to what is happening either.**

On a bit happier note, my first pieces at 50 Somethings Mom blog are slated to go up on the 14 and 17th, please try to get over there for a peek and a comment. This is kind of a big time blogging thing for me as I had to sign a writer’s agreement and have a chance to have my pieces picked up for syndication.

Finally, the Hey Sarah Palin video I posted has been driving my views the past couple of days, so I wanted to direct you all to a post over at The Zoo. It’s a clip from a recent Biden rally with an intro from Sen. Clinton. She reminded me again of what women should really aspire for when pursuing a political career. Her fervent belief in the cause and her willingness to campaign for Obama are also are in striking contrast to the Republicans. Where is Huckabee these days? Or that Mormon dude? Apparently the right’s sense of team and supporting held values extends only so far and their pseudo-Klan rallies that pass as campaigning these days says much about their message and what they value.

*For example he views the teaching on IVF as silly in light of his granddaughter’s humble beginnings in a petri-dish. It’s clear to him she is not the anti-Christ and that her existence was clearly meant to be. But, this came to him slowly. He was a giant pain in my ass during my IVF cycle and pregnancy.

**I only play a tough girl on my blog. In reality I am still waiting for the thick skin to grow back.

4 responses to “A Happy Canadian Thanksgiving

  1. Hang in there. You have done a very good job of keeping your writing balanced even though I know you must be feeling wobbly these days! Welcome to our 50-something site!

  2. there’s a palliative procedure we tried with dad – thoracentisis (sp?) – where a talc-like powder is infused near the lining of the lung to fuse it together, preventing further fluid build up. by the time he had it done, his organs were failing quickly, so there was no way to tell if it helped… good luck… and peace…

  3. I keep wondering if your postings about your dad are a peek at what’s in store for my mom, now that she’s ill and not likely to recover. I look at each new entry with a wee bit of dread.

    If you go to The Slate, you’ll see that conservative columnist Christopher Hitchens has written an endorsement for Obama. He spews most of his venom on Sarah Palin. They are starting to eat their own.

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