FaceTime Thanksgiving

Yeah, this year sucked for many, many reasons. A couple of days before Thanksgiving day this year, my family went through a rough morning. Someone went to the ER. It pretty much fell on me to go to the hospital and make sure everything was okay. I didn’t mind it—I have gone in the past when my siblings needed someone to go with them. But this time it was different.

I cried a little after the 5:30 am call but I didn’t know all the details so I tried to not jump to any conclusions. I was more frightened at that point anyway. It’s hard to say whether that’s a good or bad thing but since then, I haven’t really let myself emotionally express it. Michelle was so helpful in getting through that moment.

The Americans is a great show I’ve been binge-watching lately (Russian spies pretending to be Americans in the 1980s but dealing with more than just the Cold War). There’s one scene where a Russian KGB officer learns his brother died in the war in Afghanistan. Then came a call with his mother and he told her to keep calm and that everything will be okay. That got to me. Before the 5:30 am call ended I told my mom something similar, to take a deep breath and that everything will be okay. It was difficult.

Considering the situation, things turned out fine in the end. But, I can’t get out of my head that if something worse happened, I’d have to be the one to tell my mom the news.

A week before Thanksgiving I told my mom I was not going to stay for dinner. She understood and agreed but was upset nonetheless. I ended up going to drop off a pie, get some food to take home, say thanks, and take a quick picture. I’m fortunate enough to be able to do at least this, with everyone wearing masks all the time and spending the least amount of time there.

But being away from loved ones was different this year. Many people are hurt not being able to see their family members. My mom made me realized that that pain is something that she and others have gone through for years. It’s not easy for some to go back to their home country to see their family members. That’s one reason why I was grateful to be able to go back to Mexico to see my parent’s hometown, my mom’s father, and the grave of my mom’s mother.

My grandfather has dementia, perhaps Alzheimer’s, so he doesn’t recognize or remember his own children that are with him in Mexico. He was on a call with my mother a few days before Thanksgiving and he instantly knew and remembered her. We don’t know and may never know why my grandfather was able to recall my mom who he hasn’t been with in more than 20 years but not his other children he lives with, but it brought my family joyful tears.

My mom deserves so much more and the situation upsets me. I can only hope that what my siblings and I do are enough.