A special thankfulness this year.

 My mom will soon be looking spiffy again, I'm sure! My mom will soon be looking spiffy again, I’m sure!

I’m writing this on Thanksgiving morning, as I sit alone in the kitchen enjoying my coffee. It’s before Michael is awake and before Matt, our older son, comes over and we hop in the car to drive to Boston to spend Thanksgiving with Steve, our younger son.

I know, it’s a little late to be working on a Thanksgiving piece; most writers have probably prepared theirs days ahead. And if you get my posts via email, you won’t even see this until Friday.

I wasn’t going to write anything at all. Not that I don’t have things to be thankful for – I have many. But it seems that everyone writes about thankfulness at this time of year, and I didn’t know how to stand out from the crowd.

But, well, maybe the spirit of the day has moved me. Or maybe it’s my special thankfulness today that has inspired me to conclude:

How can I not write? 

So here goes.

I’m thankful that I have no turkey in the oven. No green beans in the fridge, the almonds waiting to be toasted at the last minute. None of my signature cranberry mousse or frozen cranberry banana salad ready to appetize.

I’m thankful that the day before Thanksgiving, I shopped at TJMaxx rather than the grocery store, and I took a nap. And right now, I’m writing rather than stuffing a big naked bird.

I’m thankful that this year, I’ll be sitting in a nice restaurant with my three favorite guys, dressed in my new outfit from TJMaxx that I won’t need to protect with an apron, ordering grilled salmon  and not washing dishes afterward.

I’m also thankful that if I choose to, I could have a house full of food and family and friends and love and warmth. And I could do that every day of the year if I choose. What blessings.

But my special thankfulness this year is that my mom will be going home from the hospital tomorrow. My mom, 84, my best girlfriend, with grace and fortitude, has pulled through a grueling surgery.

How can I not write?

Supporting her in a grueling journey of a different nature, have been the “L.A. Team” as I call them -family members out there on the West coast, 3,000 miles away from me.

How can I not write?

I haven’t been able to get out there due to my own chronic illness, but I’ll be flying out on Monday to shower her with all the love and support I can muster. For myriad reasons, I expect my time there will be grueling as well, but who wouldn’t jump at that opportunity to do that for their best girlfriend?

I’m thankful that I can hop on a plane and be at her side to hold her hand, kiss her head, share memories and laughs, and, as I told, to “bear witness to her ordeal” if she feels the need, and to help her put it behind her.

How can I not write?

I just did.

Wishing you a day full of blessings, large and small, mundane and special.


  • Karen DeBonis

    Karen DeBonis writes about motherhood, people-pleasing, and personal growth, the entangled mix told in her memoir "Growth: A Mother, Her Son, and the Brain Tumor They Survived" forthcoming in spring 2023. Subscribe today to receive Chapter 1: A Reckoning.

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No Comments

  1. rosem.griffith@gmail.com on November 23, 2017 at 12:54 PM

    Happy Thanksgiving for your mom getting home and feeling better soon!

    • kaydee82@earthlink.net on November 24, 2017 at 1:12 PM

      Thanks RoseMary! I’m thankful that you took the time to comment :) Hope you had a thankful day as well.

  2. rsbilodeau@gmail.com on November 24, 2017 at 2:19 PM

    Wow Karen, that was a powerful piece. I have a tear in eye from that one. May your Mom heal quickly and may the journey go well on every level. How nice that she is not only your Mom but a best friend! Hugs!

    • kaydee82@earthlink.net on November 24, 2017 at 4:03 PM

      Oh thanks, Ruth! I’m so blessed. Hugs to you and your family, too!

  3. jimreeves1@verizon.net on November 24, 2017 at 9:22 PM

    Beautiful Karen! I hope you have a painless flight to see your Mom, it will be worth the effort I’m sure.
    PS: I want some cranberry mousse, please send some right away.

    • kaydee82@earthlink.net on November 25, 2017 at 12:26 PM

      Thanks Jim! I’m sure the flight will be fine, and I’m fortunate that, now that my mom is home and the worst days are over, my care-taking responsibilities will be minimal compared to what my sister did for the first three weeks. The grueling part for me will be, well, a topic for subsequent posts!

  4. Shebaolenik@gmail.com on November 27, 2017 at 11:02 PM

    Wishing you safe and happy travels.
    My mom lived in California, north of Santa Barbara. She passed away this past March after a long illness. I miss her but know she is in a better place.
    Enjoy your time with her!

    • karen@thewellnestedlife.com on November 30, 2017 at 2:46 PM

      Sheba, I approved your post a few days ago, and have not had a chance to respond. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. I’m sure it must be tough, especially around the holidays, even though you seem to have a positive outlook. I am cherishing every moment with my mom, even the tough ones, because I know each minute is a gift of time.

  5. Lenlaura@aol.com on November 28, 2017 at 2:38 AM

    Beautiful Karen. Thank you for sharing.

    • karen@thewellnestedlife.com on November 30, 2017 at 2:47 PM

      Thanks as always Laura :)

  6. ehijeomoike@gmail.com on December 4, 2017 at 6:23 PM

    Alright, this is my first comment, not sure if it would be my last but I will be reading your posts from now on because I just subscribed. You have a very original way of writing. I feel like I know you. I mean there is your dad and your mum then your husband and your two sons. Plus you also have rules about what and what not to say on your blog… well you come across strong. I like it.
    This is the first time I am stumbling on your blog and I am happy I did. Usually, I curse but I am going to respect myself in this instance for your sake.
    Karen you have a very ‘real’ way of writing and I guess I just want to say keep doing what you’re doing. Looking forward to more of your stuff.

  7. kaydee82@earthlink.net on December 4, 2017 at 7:54 PM

    Hello Ehije! I’m so glad you found me. Thanks for taking the time to "get to know me" and to comment. My dad will be so pleased that you read the rules he is (supposed to be) monitoring. LOL. I especially appreciate your kind words – you probably know what a treasure that is for a writer, and I will bask in them all day!

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