I am so grateful for Thanksgiving. So many people spoke of how different it felt, how changed their day was. One man in chemo talked about creating a turkey for himself and his wife alone, distanced from all of their seven children.
Thanksgiving in Bubble
We did spend Thursday the way we spend every Thursday. But I am blessed that my kids and their other halves are my bubble. Shante and Mark work at home and are carefully socially distanced at all times, so they only live life on the edge when they come here. Conrad and Nyasha work outside the home, so their workdays do put them in contact with coworkers, masked and six feet apart.
I am the greatest risk to all, with my exposure in medical spaces, same parameters, but in a space with a lot of people, exceeding 15 minutes, but yes, masked and distant when distance is possible. It isn’t possible to be distant from a doctor during a chemo visit, from a wound nurse during wound care, or from a chemo nurse working on infusion. Those are close proximity interactions. There is a visit to the lab for a blood draw too. I think it’s a lot.
Risk of exposure to COVID-19
If you believe people are careful in the facilities, think again. Old people with their masks down below the nose. Elevators full to the brim, when the limit is two. Unmasked people eating and drinking in the cafeteria area, or using that excuse, having full conversations without remasking between a sip or a nip. I don’t feel vulnerable, but I feel resentful that people don’t care about exposing me when it could be deadly for me.
A person who runs the risk of carrying the virus to me can literally be my murderer, a form of outward facing Russian Roulette (that is probably not an ethnically respectable term, sorry). Do they understand that they are doing it? I run around, dodging the bullets, hoping that I am far enough, breathe little enough of their exhalations to keep the number of virus particles under the viral load for acquisition. I picture myself like Neo in the Matrix. Slow motion shifts to the left and the right. Bullets zinging past my ears.
Thanksgiving and gratitude
I am grateful. I am grateful to be on the planet. Grateful to spend Thanksgiving feeling healthy and normal, a good day on chemo. So grateful to be safe and surrounded by Kwami, Nyasha, Conrad, Shante and Mark. Thankful to be cooking a traditional Turkey dinner. So pleased to be able to share the meal by pickup and delivery with others who are alone in their day… but who can share our food. I am blessed to know and respect the true story of the Indigenous people, and to reflect on the Day of Mourning. Honestly, it may have been the most profound Thanksgiving that I have ever lived!
Our turkey was still partially frozen when it exited the fridge. It jumped into a one hour water bath, yes, with fifteen-minute water exchanges, just so that I could pry the neck from the cavity. Gross. And yet, we hit 165 degrees in two and a half hours, pretty surprised. So one of the coolest parts of the day was not recorded in film, but would have been fun to see.
Thanksgiving Dinner: All Hands on Deck
Everyone in the house had to cook, table set, open bottles, bake, and do everything super quickly at the end, just to meet the cooling turkey. It was like a mad and crazy episode of the Great British Bake Off. Bumping butts. Fast pace. Everyone whizzing around. I don’t think Leo even dared to be near the kitchen, in fear for his tail and his life. It was amazing, and in the end, delicious. I am so grateful, and others that ate the food were also so appreciative of these hard working dinner chefs.
I hope that the joy of our day added that joy, the beauty and the love, to the energy of the planet. My empathy and love for everyone experiencing different realities did bring me to tears several times over the weekend. It was an emotional space for anyone who was paying attention. Every day right now is a day of thanksgiving, for all of us with breath, with focus on the beating heart, for our day of mere existence in earth form. For our connection with the Eternal in whatever grasp that we have of this segment of Eternality.