On this day, in this nation, we all stop to say thanks for all the things we have. If we have way more Things than we need, we most likely will stop to say thanks for the non-tangible things in our lives. It’s hard to say thanks for all the love if you’re living in a cardboard box under the bridge, but hey, if you’re lucky enough to have lots to love while living in a terrible situation, at least you have some blessings. I would like to let you all know today that I am indeed one of the most blessed people on the face of this good earth. I have nearly every thing I could need. Actually, I probably have more than I need and nearly everything I could ever want. I have a roof over my head, more than enough food to eat, heat on demand, medicine when I’m ill, general health that largely precludes my needing medicine, and a retirement plan which, in about a year, while not taking care of all my expenses, will probably cover everything except my health insurance for the rest of my life. In short, I just about have it all. Along the way in my life’s journey, I have met some wonderful friends. I say this while lying on the couch under a beautiful quilt that some very sweet quilting friends made for me. Some know me very well, some not so well. At any rate, they took the time and showed the kindness of heart to contribute to this gift that I will cherish forever. More than any of these things, howevver, I have had an experience in life that I wish for all of you. I have had the great fortune to meet one of the rarest of beings — a true friend. She listens to me, drops everything and comes when I need her, and I have to say that this week she actually saved my life. I ended up having to have two surgeries to repair my spine, instead of the one we had planned. When I awoke from the second surgery, I was hallucinating, I was in severe pain, and my family was two hours away. The staff at the hospital essentially left me in a single room with inadequate pain meds and closed the door so they wouldn’t have to listen to me. I managed to get hold of my cell phone and called (several crazy calls) to Ronda and my family. Who dropped everything and came to my aid? When Ronda got to the hospital, I was in shock. I was pasty white, cold, my hands and arms clenched into claws, and I was screaming my head off. When the staff realized there was someone there, they finally sprang into action to help me. She stayed at my side for hours until I was finally resting and then, when I was sprung to come home earlier than expected, she came and got me, drove me home and then drove all the way back to Portland by herself. Only God knows if I will ever find the way to repay her. Suffice it to say that I will always be there for her too. There is nothing too large or too overwhelming she could ask of me.
So, on this day of thanks, I would like to say thanks to all of you, but especially to my dear friend Ronda, and I sincerely hope that such an angel crosses your path in your lifetime.