Where To Have Breakfast

The word for “breakfast” derives from literally “breaking a fast” which gives a sense that we fasted overnight and broke that fast first thing in the morning, which Jill had looked forward to for two days.

I enjoyed my day of purging and drinking a gallon of suspect origins and frequent pit stops first for the colonoscopy, and after a year of dread, Jill followed.

The hospital has it down to a routine.  You check in, are ushered down a hall where you enter your little curtain drawn room and change.  Nurses swarm in with warm blankets, making sure you are you and this is not a triple bypass, promises of fruit juice after the procedure and professional, respectful treatment.  The doctor enters just before you go back, explains that the drug induces sleep and a bit of amnesia.  If mindful, you thank him for amnesia.  You glide into the procedure room on your bed.  All is thoughtfully draped.  You sleep, awake in your room, enjoy ice chips, and that promised juice.  When you wake fully, you listen to the doctor’s report, dress, and a nurse wheels you out the emergency room door to  your spouse driving you away.

Routine, if a little bothersome, and driving away I was struck by two things.

One, we were leaving a hospital and discussing places for breakfast (Jill’s call and it was waffles).  Two, many, many other people were leaving hospitals the world over, and they would give anything to be in our place.  Maybe that hospital was bombed in fifteen countries last year.  Maybe their hospital had no toilets, no AC, no private rooms — and some have up to four patients plus visitors in that tiny room — and no sense of rudimentary cleanliness.  So many ways to die.

Many people leaving hospitals just heard, “Yes we did (did not) get all the cancer and we will now initiate (endure) chemo, radiation, a new treatment….”  So many ways to poison our bodies.

And we were now driving to Jill’s choice for breakfast.  And driving into the sun I thought we forget some days.  We forget to be amazed, or thankful, or shocked at the goodness.

May your most taxing discussion be where to go for breakfast this day.  Or maybe tomorrow.

Thaksgiving and Platitudes

What does it mean to be “thankful”? 

I know, it means having a distended stomach, and wondering if you will live until leftover sandwiches!  Watching TV and playing like all the people in the house are not getting on your last nerve.

The truly simple and strangely absent definition is that “thankful” means what we do tomorrow. 

Some people will return to risking everything they have to build a new business.  Some will turn and continue to invest their fifth, twenty-sixth year or more into their marriage and family.  Some will go back on patrol of our borders or in other countries.  Many will go back to work in stores, hospitals, police and fire stations, governmental offices doing jobs we really don’t want to know about. 

Thanksgiving and thankful go way beyond any specific emotion, ultimately to some form of courage or grit where I return to life, roll up our sleeves, and do what needs to be done, that has fallen to me.  Glorious or mundane, courageous or grinding, I do what falls to me to do. 

However tired, full, joyous, or achingly empty, it shows us all how ‘thankful’ you are and for what, really.