My thanksgiving started early. I got up at 2:00AM, handled my morning business, got dressed, wished my wife a happy birthday, kissed her cheek and headed to the airport. The streets were wet and I wondered how the combination of a light work load and a rainy forecast might effect my chances of staying dry. Theres not alot of cover at the airport and sure enough it worked out just perfect that I would get soaked while unloading my aircraft. I mean really soaked. It was 7:30AM when I some how weaseled my way outta there even though the last flight still had not left Ontario.
I stopped on the way home and picked up nine cans of green beans, two family size cans of cream of mushroom soup, and one bag of french fried onions. Once home, I took a long shower and crawled into bed for a short nap. After I woke up, I imagine my day was alot like everyone elses. Drove about an hour, purchased some last minute necessities (little girl tights), ate finger foods, visited with family members I don't see enough, ate some more food, watched football and fishing on TV, and then sat down for a huge feast including turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, corn, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and something that had cranberries in it.
After dinner different ones started washing dishes, putting away folding chairs, entertaining the kids, settling in to watch the Cardinals game, and there was a bit of expectancy in the air. All the cousins kept asking each other... "Are we gonna have pie?" , "When are we going to eat pie?" A little disappointed that no one was suggesting we play Tripoli or Yahtzee, or even Nintendo Wii, I went into the room that did not have the game on and just listened to the ladies.
Somewhere between finishing pie and Arizona losing a game it should have won, my youngest daughter was attacked by the family dog. As soon as I heard it I knew exactly what was happening but did not believe it. How could this be happening? Responsible parents. Responsible dog owners. Why? Why? Why? I carried my baby girl to the van, wiping blood off her face, having no idea where the nearest hospital was. Someone else drove me to the nearest ER and I found myself seated between other worried parents and one guy who had somehow lodged pumpkin pie in his lungs.
The last two days have been spent with medical personnel who also had to work on Thanksgiving weekend, who did everything they could to move my daughter towards health. Abi is doing good. She has nine cuts on her face, about twenty stitches to be removed next week. We now own regular band-aids, Dora Band Aids, and also Hello Kitty Band aids. I'm suggesting everyone buy stock in Neosporin and Maderma. We got good reports from the eye specialist and I have called all the craziest charismatics I know and asked them to pray for her total recovering and no scaring. We are taking it day by day but Abi keeps telling me, "I'll be otay dad!".
On a day when I prayed our family would not take things for granted, just a few days after preaching about JOY and PEACE, I am very much reminded of what is important in this life. I am thankful for my kids. I am thankful for my wife. I am thankful for the friends and family who won't stop calling us to see how things are, for the ones who have a different sense and are just giving us space, and for those I haven't told yet, but are going to love us through this to the other side. I am thankful for my church, for my calling, and a gracious God that keeps reminding me he's not forgotten us. I am hopeful for what's ahead and thankful for where I've come from. I am learning to be content where I am. I am thankful for His peace.