Giving Thanks

HEALTH UPDATE: Chugging along! No new symptoms although I’m realizing I’m not as strong as I think I am. I’ll continue to tweak my exercise routine. It’s time to try something I’ve been fighting all my life for various reasons. Mostly because my mind has not been capable to slow down enough to focus. It’s time to try…yoga! Next medical appointment is December 9th for labs, visit and God willing, another treatment of ab122.


If you have grown tiresome of reading my ramblings of consistent appreciation for life you need not read further. My cup is overflowing with thanks and appreciation for this life. My life, that continues on and on, surprisingly so. There has been so much heartbreak this thanksgiving season with the difficult choices of separating from our family traditions. So much is different, as we’ve experienced since the invisible enemy has crept onto our soil. We are strong. We know things could be worse. We adjust. Our love for family does not evaporate. It grows. New experiences evolve. New goals and outlooks arise. I decided that for my precious Tom and Willow I would provide a feast! A celebration of our little family!

It starts with the planning. Paper everywhere. Lists and more lists. I start with the menu. I’ll go with my Heussner family traditional thanksgiving meal. Turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, scalloped corn, rolls, real butter on a fancy plate and special butter knife. I will add my homemade cranberry sauce made with fresh cranberries, sugar, orange juice and cinnamon sticks. For dessert I will make pie. Two pies. One pumpkin, one apple. Homemade vanilla ice cream for Willow.

The ingredients are important. Every item must be deemed safe for my sweet Willow. An allergic reaction is not on the menu. Although I’m fairly certain that she will dine on chicken nuggets with ketchup, every food item will be safe for her to try. Turkey starts thawing on Sunday. Baked the bread for the stuffing Monday. It dried nicely. I looked at the pans of bread cubes on the counter and had flashbacks to my own childhood. Everything about this grand meal plan is taking me way back. It feels good. As kids, we know it’s a special time. A holiday and celebration is coming! I want this feeling for Willow. She’s never had this experience before. I know with certainty that she wasn’t particularly fond of my absence while cooking in the kitchen. Several invitations were made for her to assist but I have tough competition with toys, outside fun and playing with dad.

I’ve cooked a turkey a few times before. It’s been years. And years. And years. I had so many more resources this time around! YouTube was available to get me started and Sister Melanie was available for a turkey 911 call. When it came to decor, Tom and I made the difficult choice to go Christmas early this year. We LOVE FALL It was bittersweet to take it all down. I had a last minute idea to go back to the bins and bring back fall for our table. I brought out our corn candles that we’ve had for years. Candles much too cool to ever light. I lit them. The time is now. What if I never ever enjoyed them being lit? What am I waiting for? It all worked out and the meal was beautiful and tasted just like home.

After our meal and clean up we enjoyed an amazing time zooming with our Hannes side of our family from Madison to way out west. The gap of so many miles was eliminated within seconds of seeing all the smiling faces. It will be a new tradition for years to come! So heartwarming. Afterwards, we piled in the car for our daily trip to the holiday lights. Our addiction is spreading. It was wonderful to see all the cars lined up, creating a bright red light show of their own. Just when one would think it’s time to wind down, the party starts up once more with a classic Heussner zoom. My mom looks beautiful. I miss her face. It’s so wonderful to see everyone. My dad is missing. I get up and grab my 5×7 and put him on the call. I wonder what he would think of all of this. I think it would be hard for him. He would be sad to be missing the chaos of our large family packing his home. I miss him. As the years go by we seem to just move on. I think it’s because it’s too painful to think about him. But I’m thinking about him. I think he might be my angel. My angel that brought me Willow and my angel that has kept me alive. I love and miss you sweet angel!

Happy thanksgiving to one and all! May you all experience an ounce of thanks that my heart holds. It will take you to highs of happiness one may never know existed.

Stay safe and God bless!

Beautiful bird! Smelled so good!
Cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries!
I’m crust challenged. It tastes better than it looks. Lol.

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Wife, mother, cancer fighter and lover of life!

4 thoughts on “Giving Thanks

  1. Oh Cathy, all that you did for your beautiful and delicious looking dinner, made me exhausted just thinking about it!!! You are such a fighter!! I am so glad that your dad is with you every step of the way!!! I betcha didn’t know you would be this fierce huh?! It is amazing what you can do, you have proven that to the drs and all of us! Here is to many more Thanksgivings to come. Hopefully next year you will be with your whole family. Seriously, you did an amazing job. Your pie looks beautiful, everything!! Even Martha Stewart would be impressed. Kudos to you and keep doing what you are doing. Love you to pieces and sending you so many gentle (((hugs)))your way.


  2. Beautiful meal! Beautiful Family! Cheers to you! Wishing you years and years of beautiful celebrations. You touch my heart and soul with every post you make. Hugs and Love to you all!


  3. That is one beautiful bird! You got it! Your ability to make the best of every situation is really a wonderful inspiration.

    Keep up the great work and I hope next year you continue to have lots of things to be grateful for.


  4. You are a truly gifted writer, Cathy! Your wonderful attitude is an inspiration to all of us. God Bless you and your family🤗🙏💜


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