Yesterday, as my dear mother-in-law, Barbara, and I worked in the kitchen while most of the men and the children (yea, even the adult children) caravanned on the traditional drive through the mountains of the Uintah Basin to count deer and elk, I recalled the Thanksgiving before. Some forty of us had gathered last year to break bread and give thanks together in the hogan family room my father-in-law built on to their home long before I joined the family.
I looked at Barbara, who is still dealing with the ill effects of breast cancer treatment from last year (no one tells you of the way lymphedema will affect the rest of your life, because they are just trying to get you to survive the chemo and radiation required to beat back the cancer). I thought, “What were we thinking, descending upon her last year like that while she was still trying to regain her strength and regrow her hair and reclaim her life?” We came because she wanted us there, I recalled. And we brought the food and tried to make the event as easy as possible on her.