Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Day of Thanksgiving

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Back home with my family that means a big family reunion with lots of food. There are about 50 of us on my mom’s side of the family – grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and spouses.

Beth and I don’t do too much on our own. We had a nice meal and I had pumpkin pie. Beth can’t stand the stuff. I don’t eat any vegetables from the squash family as a rule – but pumpkin pie is the exception – all those spices I taste – cinnamon, nutmeg… Yum. I know, most of the British readers are in agreement with Beth. When we were in Wales, I had the hardest time trying to convince people to try it.

In honour of the day, I wanted to take some time to say how much all of you mean to me.

Financially speaking, it has been a struggle for me to keep on top of things, and as Beth has mentioned in previous blogs, I can get anxious about it. When I set up the paypal account on several readers’ request, I did not imagine the response I would receive. Your donations help me not fear all the time how I’m going to pay for big ticket medical items.

Physically and emotionally, I don’t know what I’d do without Cheryl. It is hard to believe we only got to know her earlier this year. It seems like she’s been part of the family for a lot longer. She helps decipher medical related stuff and provide emotional support to both me and Beth. She’s taken her commitment to family very seriously – and she’s more family than any of the family Beth and I both have. She’s also a lot of fun and I enjoy spending time with her whenever we can. She’s also staying over while I’m out of town Thursday and Friday so that Beth is not alone. (Hint: These would be great days to drop Beth a personal email so she doesn’t feel isolated.)

And then there’s Lene who calls Beth every week to chat. They cover a lot of ground in their long phone calls and solve all the injustices of the world. I know when Beth is talking to either Lene or Cheryl to apply the oxygen because the more she talks the more her oxygen saturation levels drop.

And there’s Laura who writes us every day and does searching online for us. And I can’t forget the T-shirts. She also bought us an ambu-bag in case Beth stops breathing and I’ve had to use it a couple of times.

And then there are all of you who read Screw Bronze. Some of you lurk (technically I do too as I don’t say much on her blog) but she knows you’re there because she checks the number of hits most days. She also gets concerned when the numbers go down.

Then there are those of you who comment infrequently and a dedicated 10-20 who comment religiously. For all of you, you are what keeps Beth writing day after day. You support her when she’s down, you respect her thoughts on dying, and you get angry for the injustices that are done to her. And woe-betide the anonymous commentor who hurt Beth and/or the disabled community at large. You’re there to put him in line – but no vicious attacks please.

The other thing that keeps Beth going is her postcard project and the gift packages she sends out. She wants to make a difference in people’s lives – and I know she does as many have told her so. But if you’re one of those people who have received a card and haven’t responded, I urge you to do so. Send her an email, or better yet, return the favour and send a postcard back. Every weekend she looks forward to Cheryl’s arrival as Cheryl brings mail.

I must mention Wendryn here, who is absolutely amazing, as she has been sending a postcard every day to Beth for months. The other day Beth said she didn’t know what she’d do if there wasn’t a pile of postcards for her each week. It’s not an unreasonable fear as the amount of cards she receives each week has dwindled – last week there was Wendryn’s and one other person. It made her very sad.

I also wanted to thank all of you who have sent packages to Beth. She doesn’t send packages expecting anything in return, but boy does it make her happy when she receives one. I want to recognize SharonMV for her steady supply of beautiful stickers (which always garner favourable comments) and Robin for sending a box of Hello Kitty stuff including a Hello Kitty sticker book with hundreds of stickers. It was the mother load of stickers and that book goes with Beth wherever she happens to be writing postcards. Many of you have sent stuff for her to enjoy or for her to regift. One of the most surprising things was the box of Hello Kitty goth tape which was sent to us by Victor & Collette. Beth was speechless as she couldn’t find them anywhere on-line – and she’s a genius when it comes to on-line searches.

I take a lot of pleasure watching Beth open her gifts and read her postcards, it gives her so much joy and a happy Beth is a beautiful sight to see. She’s a little lacking in happiness these days. So thanks for sending what you have and if you are able to continue sending little surprises once in a while I’d be very grateful.

Finally, I just wanted to say that each of you are a gift to us. Thanks for being yourself.

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!


yanub said...

I'm glad you got to have your slice of pumpkin pie, Linda. Interesting that Beth doesn't like it. My daughter doesn't, either. She can't even stand the smell of it, or any of the winter squashes, no matter how heavily seasoned. More for us, no?

Unknown said...

Linda, Beth, Cheryl,

There is no need for thanks although, I really do appreciate it. It did give me the warm fuzzies for a while. You already know that if you need anything just let me know and I will see what I can do.

Linda, you wrote a wonderful Thanksgiving message. I enjoyed reading it so much. Though my family is close geographically, I feel closer to you, Elizabeth and Cheryl. For that you have my gratitude.

With love and hugs to my adoptive family,

Anonymous said...

Mmmm pumpkin pie... I'll have Beth's piece please.

I am also thankful to have you and Beth in my life. Good friends are precious.

I am very thankful that I decided to follow the link which led me to Screw Bronze. Look, I gained two sisters by doing that...

Unknown said...

Shalom you funky women. Just wanted to comment that I get a lot out of reading & now occasionally commenting on Screw Bronze, and the occasional email, but I also get a lot out of seeing what happens when people care deeply for each other like you do as a family. Keep it up, hang in there with the tough stuff... I know things are not easy. But well done.

Neil said...

I missed the pumpkin pie this year! It wasn't a great weekend for us; our cat had to be put to sleep, and my sister-inlaw, who normally hosts thanksgiving dinners, is waiting for a knee replacement, and she can't walk at the moment. So no cooking bug dinners.

Like Laura, I feel closer to you two, without having met you, than I do to my brother. I'm trying to be closer to my father now that he's alone, but I'm finding it very difficult.

I hope Beth enjoyed the cards I sent; don't know if she'll send out the last one in the booklet, though.

Love and zen hugs to all,

Dawn Allenbach said...

I LOVE pumpkin pie -- so much so that I ask for it for my birthday (in August) rather than cake.

I'm with Laura -- I enjoyed your message and am glad if the little bit I do makes you both happy. Hopefully the letter I sent on Monday will arrive for Friday's pickup by Cheryl.

Hugs for you.

Lene Andersen said...

Thank you for the mention - I'm glad it helps Beth, but I get as much (or more?) out of talking to her. Those conversations are some of the best times I've had all year.

The internet is a wonderful thing - I can't believe how lucky I am to have become friends with the two of you.

p.s. I'm with Beth on the pumpkin pie - yech!

Anonymous said...

And a happy thanks giving to you!
Don't worry. There will be e-mails.
Sent one, will send more.

Take care

Defying Gravity said...

I'm British and have never had pumpkin pie. It sounds revolting! I think we miss out by not having a Thanksgiving day or equivalent here though - but, on reflection, Brits aren't great at celebrating. We'd have to have a 'national queuing day' or 'national talking about the weather day or something' ;)

Anyway, I just wanted to say hi and happy belated thanksgiving. I hope your week is behaving itself.

wendryn said...

Pumpkin pie is wonderful stuff. I really like mince pie, too, which most people don't like.

I'm glad the postcards are still a good thing, despite the groaners. :) I wish there were more coming in for Elizabeth, though - I know how much work she puts in to the ones that go out, and it's a shame more people don't send something back. There should be a surprise coming soon - I just need to get it packed and sent. Not a big one, but it's something.

Sorry I can't contribute to the financial side. The job situation is miserable right now. It'll get better soon.

Thank you for this post. I'm glad so many people are part of your family & care enough to help.

I am continually amazed by your dedication, patience, and love, and by the love you & Elizabeth share. It's a very good thing in this weird world.

Anonymous said...

That is a lovely post. Thanks.

Optistatic said...

Thank you, Linda, for looking after Elizabeth. I know she's not mine at all, but I am so glad that she has someone so wonderful-sounding as you to look after her, and to give her the chance to blog.

Thank you, Cheryl, for looking after Elizabeth and Linda. Ditto the above, with different emphasis.

I, too, am thankful that I followed the link to Elizabeth's blog. She really does make a lot of difference to a lot of people, and a little difference to even more.

I am also thankful that this website is running at last!

Unknown said...


I have finalized the design and now all I need is to get sizes from all who wants a t-shirts. Jump over to Of Wheels and Wings and tell me what you want in the comments. I will be changing the line in my blog to open my email address to you all so that you can give me mailing directions and addresses. Thanks All.

Anonymous said...

Is there nothing positive aboout seeing the latest specialist? None, it seems insane. Doesn't the ER reccords end up at the specialists office.
Really incredible.

Drake said...

I don't eat pumpkin as a rule, but mini-pumpkin-cakes with cinnamon and sugar is one of my favorites...go figure.

Keeping on top of medical expenses is quite tough...I know. I wish you and Beth all the best in this regard. I would donate a little something, but with the R/$ being as it is, you would most likely only be able to buy a pumpkin pie with it in the end ;D.

Keep Well

Unknown said...

Hi Linda & Cheryl,

I just left a message for Elizabeth on her message board asking if she was likely to be going to Seattle soon. How's plans for that going? Understand it's frustrating for all of you waiting to get whatever evidence together... hope it's able to happen in short order. Hope you two are doing okay too.

yanub said...

Seconding Thea's inquiry. How are plans going? I don't like to ask Beth, since the last thing she wants to think about is doctors. What's the latest on the concentrator?

Unknown said...

Hi Linda & Cheryl,

Wanted to reach out to you both after reading Elizabeth's last entry; sounds like things are particularly tough for all of you at present. And I know that will be an entirely laughable understatement so feel free to laugh at it...

I hope you both are able to retain even some small times for taking care of yourseves.

Tayi said...

Hey, I just caught up on some of the last posts where you talk about visiting Seattle, and I looked up the medical center you mentioned. Its actually quite close to where I live, maybe 30-45 minutes away. I don't have a lot of resources, not even a house to open to you, but if you run into problems and you think you might benefit from someone here, just say so and I'll see what I can do. I know Elizabeth has my email address, or you can comment on my blog, which I check obsessively even when I don't write anything.

Linda McClung said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. My apologies for the delay in responding.

It has been a rough month since I last blogged, but hopefully the next month will be better.

My plan is to blog again soon and give you all an update on what's going on with Beth and the medicos.