Thanksgiving Thoughts

From left: Meredith (niece), Kathleen, Andy (brother-in-law), Janice (sister), King (four-footed-friend).

When I moved to this nursing home, my first thought was not how I would spend Thanksgiving. I knew that my Thanksgiving would be different. I would no longer be picked up by my trusted caregiver of ten years where we would spend the day with her family. After dinner and several hours of visiting she returned me home. She would not allow me to pay her on Thanksgiving for the time when she was with her family. Even though I enjoyed going with her, I always felt like the fifth wheel. I hated that I needed her to work on holidays, but I had no other recourse.

I can honestly say I do not remember what I did my first Thanksgiving here. They had a Family Thanksgiving Dinner here a week before Thanksgiving, but I cannot remember if I attended that first year. In subsequent years I did and for most of them my family or friends attended with me.

The facility worked very hard to make things festive for the residents and their family members. But I do have to say that my feelings were rather divided when Thanksgiving rolled around. I was used to a quiet Thanksgiving with a few people. A few years I celebrated Thanksgiving before hand by going out to dinner with my family or friends.

For many years a friend visited most Thanksgivings but many times I was alone. The facility does have a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving for the residents. Some residents go out with family or friends. But for many our only family on Thanksgiving is the aides, nurses, and other staff who care for us.

I have been asked if this is a difficult adjustment. I have to say that it is. The most difficult thing about it for me is that I cannot be very proactive about what happens on Thanksgiving. It is all controlled by those around me. I have occasionally seen staff take one or more residents to their homes for Thanksgiving dinner. On the other side I have seen residents go home for Thanksgiving dinner and invite aides to come and eat with them. Some folks forget that there are staff members who have no particular place to go on Thanksgiving as well.

I have spent some Thanksgivings watching television. Usually there is a popular series marathon on Thanksgiving Day. I am thankful that TV folks schedule interesting programs on Thanksgiving. They know that some people are not out and about and that there are people in hospitals and nursing homes who depend on TV for entertainment.

My computer has changed my holidays. I can go anywhere and do mostly anything on the Internet. I have found that online auction browsing is particularly interesting on Thanksgiving and on other important football game days.

One of these days I will have the technology to switch from computer use to television use on the same screen. That will certainly empower me because I will no longer need others to assist me to switch to another activity. I will be able to do it myself.

As a writer I am also looking forward to laptop computers with a smaller footprint. That would allow me to use my dictation software and write anywhere.

I am thankful for the miracles of modern technology. They have changed my view of life and they will definitely open up new horizons and holiday possibilities for me in the future.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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