I wanted to echo some of the sentiments Patty shared in her message tonight. Today really was, all in all, a spectacular day.
Devin and Colin are here, and I have missed them every day they've been away. My parents drove the boys to the airport so that we could have them here for Thanksgiving; this involves some city driving, of which my parents are not fond, particularly at those times of year when weather can be a gamble -- so we're thankful they would do this for us.
I was touched when Devin remembered to bring me Cherry Blossoms, a chocolate cordial treat I really enjoy and that I had mentioned to the boys in passing. I was again moved when all my children posed (without rabbit ears or crossed eyes) for a family photograph; to the best of my knowledge, we have had pictures taken as a group only three times in the whole time we've known each other. I know I'm biased, but they all look so remarkable to me. I felt flattered and a little surprised when our adult nephew Luke thanked me for writing this blog; I've always felt thankful that people are interested enough to be regular visitors. I was pleased to see Patty so happy to be surrounded by loved ones, and to see her smiling and healthy-looking.
After all of this, and once much of the day's excitement had died down, I took a telephone call from my friend Chris in Toronto. I have known Chris since we were too young to know we even knew one another...if that makes any sense. We have had periods where we lost touch, but always found ourselves re-establishing contact.
For the most part, my telephone conversations with Chris involve a significant amount of yelling, a liberal smattering of profanity, and a lot of critical assessment of our favorite teams. Tonight, we ranted about football, hockey, music, children, disease, Patty, politics and a few other bridging topics. Sometimes we talk about personal issues, but we try to keep it at a "guy" level, which means we strive for a degree of cool detachment (usually with only limited success.)
Before we signed off tonight, though, Chris caught me off guard. Where we would normally exchange some form of friendly insult, Chris instead asked me to listen for a moment. He then said something very complimentary and supportive about Patty, about me, and about my relationship with Patty. I won't share the specifics, but it turns out to be one of the things that both Patty and I are most thankful for today. Thanks, Chris.