A very special Thankful Game (part 11).

On this, my 161st post and Thanksgiving Eve, I’d like to take a moment to recall a very special Thankful Game.  (If your name is “Momma” or “Charley,” you might want to grab a tissue.)

On Sunday, November 13th, my stepdad, Charley, was on his fourth day at the hospital.  He had been admitted the Thursday before and wasn’t released for a total of eight days.  In spite of battling sinusitis, an ear infection, double pneumonia, bacterial meningitis and, oh yeah, cancer, that Sunday morning, in his hospital gown, he read the Bible to my mom from his hospital bed. 

(Let’s just take a second right here and absorb how amazingly sweet and profoundly selfless that is.)

I arrived shortly after and set up my laptop for a round of the Thankful Game.  Considering Charley’s unresponsive state just four days prior, we had a lot for which to be thankful.

Me, “All right.  Charley, what are you thankful for?”

Charley, “My family.”

Me, “Momma?”

Momma, “That man sittin’ right there.”

Me, “I’m thankful for the little grippies on the bottom of socks.”

(I couldn’t help but notice them on Charley.)

Charley, “Oh, they’re lovely.  They give me good traction.”

Me, “Charley, what are you thankful for?”

Charley, “I’m thankful for the great medical help that I’ve been getting.”

Me, “Momma?”

(I should mention that she was checking Facebook during the Thankful Game.)

Momma, “Sandy said, ‘Yay!  He’s in God’s hands and so are you.  Love you, cousin.  Prayers still your way, of course.  My dad is ready to take us all to be with you at a moment’s notice.  He loves you guys.’  I love my cousin.  I’m thankful for her.” 

Me, “I’m thankful for what a beautiful day it is today.  Charley?”

“Coffee,” he said as he raised his cup triumphantly.  …Kinda like the statue of liberty.

Me, “Momma?”

Momma, “God’s grace and mercy.”

Me, “I’m thankful that I finally have a sense of direction in this hospital.”

(I had a heck of a time figuring out where to park my car in relation to Charley’s hospital room.)

Charley, “My hearing’s so much better today.  I don’t know when that happened.”

Me, “Are you sure I’m not just yelling at you?”

Charley, “I’m thankful for my hearing returning.”

Me, “Momma?”

Momma, “I am thankful for clean clothes.”

Me, “Mmhmmm.  I’m thankful for Doug and Donna (my in-laws) letting us spend the night and bring our dogs.”

Charley, “I’m thankful we have good friends to watch the kids.”

Momma, “Me, too.”

Me, being a specific Square Piece, “You can’t borrow other people’s thankfuls.”

Momma, “You didn’t give me this rule in the beginning! I’m thankful for the sofa to sleep on in Charley’s room.  Even if I do get woken up every couple of hours, it’s worth it to be this close to this man.  Close enough to smack him if he tries to go to the bathroom by himself.”

(Pray for Charley.)

Me, “I’m thankful that the dogs slept with me last night because I haven’t gotten to see much of them.”

Momma, “I’m thankful for free WiFi to keep up with everybody.  Family, friends, church.  And to read all the encouraging comments.”

Charley, “I’m thankful…”

Me, “Hold it!”  (I mean, I was typing as fast as my little fingers could go!)

Momma, “It’s not your turn!”

Me, “Actually, it is.”

Charley, “I’m thankful that I can get up and walk around a bit more than I have been and that I have energy to run down the hall if I need to. … But I’d probably fall over.”

Momma, “I’m thankful for nurses that smile.”

I asked the nurse, “What are you thankful for?”

Nurse, “My husband.”

Me, “I’m not sure whose turn it is, so I’m thankful for deodorant.”

Charley, “I’m thankful for a clean shave.”

Momma, “Wow.  [Something she saw on Facebook.]  I’m not thankful for that.”  Then she saw me typing.  “No!”  (*click click*)  “Don’t put that in there, Suzy!”  (*click, click, clickity click, ‘Suzy’ click*)  “I’ll stop reading your blog!”

(I don’t believe that threatening is tolerated in the Thankful Game.  In fact, my new rule is that threatening of any kind is forbidden!)

Me, “What?!”

(Nevertheless, I relented.)

Momma, “I’m thankful that I met this man 16 yrs. ago.  And I know what true love is.”

Charley, speaking to Momma, “You come up with all the good ones.”

Me, “I’ve got ‘deodorant.’  That’s a good one.”

Charley, “Oh, me again?  Well, I’m thankful that my work is very understanding and they did say that whenever you get sick, take off as much time as you need.  It’s hard to pay for bills without a paycheck, but it’s nice to know I’ll have a job when I come back.”

Me, “I’m thankful for my siblings.”

Charley, “You’ve got some wonderful siblings.”

Momma, “I’m thankful that I can be a bridge between people.  Like last night a friend of mine needed help with something and I knew that I had friends out there who were computer geeks and could help her.  So I posted what she needed and, sure enough, she got what she needed.  So I’m thankful for that.”

Charley, “I’m thankful for…”

Me, “Hold on!  She just rambles faster than I can type!… Okay.”

Charley, “I’m thankful for our vehicles that continue to run well.  We do not need any more bills.”

Me, “I’m thankful for food that’s so convenient to access.”

Charley, “Amen to that.  I have access to a lot of food here.”

Momma, “I’m thankful that I can post a lovely update on Charley.”

Charley, “I’m thankful for all the help and support during the raffle tickets and bake sales… to raise funds for the cancer… I know that was a lot of work.”

Me, “I’m thankful that my mother-in-law now reads Square Piece every day.”

(She’s the one who organized all the raffles and bake sales.)

Momma, “Thankful that I don’t have to worry about the house ‘cause I know Mandy and Rach are keeping a good eye on everything.”

Me, “And your kitties.”

Charley, “The bunny, the guinea pig and all three cats…”

We paused for a bit and got a fairly distracted before Charley piped up.  (You know, the Thankful Game never really ends.)

“I wanted to add one more,” he said.  “I was going to say, when I stumble and get ready to fall,” choking up, “Donna’s there to pick me up.  Donna, I love you.”

Then they hugged, both with tears of happiness in their eyes.

Can you find something to be thankful for?


  1. November 23, 2011

    <3 <3 <3

  2. November 23, 2011

    <3<3 I love the thankful game but this one is especially touching. <3<3

    I am thankful for God's hand on Charley. I am also thankful for the love that He gave to Donna and Charley

  3. December 12, 2011
    Adele Bernard

    Note to self…Don’t read thankful game blogs when at work. I am sitting at my desk trying to hold back tears. Happy tears! I am thankful for your family and how much of a blessing they are to so many people, me included.

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