I have a friend who writes a witty letter to send to the far reaches of her family at Christmas time every year. Since I never purposely steal anyone’s idea unless I can do it better or score first blood, I decided to compose an annual Thanksgiving letter instead, so that mine will be done before she gets out her shiny balls and Ho Ho’s. But on further reflection, I don’t want to risk competing with a lady who has enough culture to inquire, “What wine goes with roadkill?”
Therefore, in an act of stubborn cowardice, I have decided instead to present the top ten list of things I’ve learned this year. There’s been a lot of study material.
I learned that Life Lessons are either immensely painful or expensive. And also that one does not exclude the other.
I learned that driving a kidney patient to the hospital requires you to slow down, at least over the railroad tracks.
I learned that kidneys must be emptied more often than pockets at a police station and that the announcement that a patient’s kidneys are about to explode like the planet Alderan under attack from a fully functional Death Star shortens the wait at the Emergency Room immensely.
Transporting the patient home across the same railroad tracks, I learned that men with catheters DO NOT have a sense of humor.
I learned that the insurance company will pay for a bandaid quite cheerfully, but morphine requires an offering of type O positive and Taylor Swift tickets with backstage passes for the daughter of the insurance company’s CEO—and 350 of her closest friends.
I learned that if the kidney patient schedules a physical to see if anything else is wrong; something will be.
I learned that triglycerides are neither a good name for a rock band, nor a circus acrobatic act that revolves around a three-wheeled vehicle.
I learned to appreciate whole grain bread, lean meats, garden vegetables, and fresh fruit.
I learned that “refrigerate after opening” doesn’t necessarily apply to fresh fruit.
I learned that poached, grilled, boiled, and baked fish are still basically fish. Unless corn meal and hot grease are involved, all recipes are the same. Disclaimer: This is just an observation. I like fish. Please do not send me your recipe. I rejected Martha Stewart and I’ll reject you.
I learned that even though Life Lessons are expensive and painful and fraught with adventures that make you late for supper, having a healthy husband makes it all worthwhile. Tomorrow, between the green beans and Splenda-sweetened tea, I'll be putting in a word of thanks for that.
(Of course, that’s 11 things on the list. But when it comes to lessons, I was always an overachiever anyway. Happy Thanksgiving, Honey!)