"You know sump tin', Deb? We're living like kings here! We're so lucky that we have a close family like we do."
I sat there listening to him repeat my words that I once told him.
"All dose' times I complained abow' this one screwing me over or dat' one taking the food outa' my kids' mouwz' --- we always had it made. I wouldn't trade it in for the world. I am so grateful for all youz'," he said in his Brooklynite accent as he held my hand tightly.
"I love you, Deb." he said, as he giggled with an embarrassing grin.
We never said "I love yous" very often, or at all before he was diagnosed with cancer. It didn't matter. He was saying it now. I knew he loved me, but verbalizing it was very nice and sometimes awkward since I never was like that with Dad. He said his "I love yous" to Mom like ten times a day and to my sisters as well. He knew. He wanted to say it instead of guessing if we already knew. But the most important thing was, he knew we were happy. He knew that we were grateful for all that we had while growing up and all we have right at this very moment. And even he was grateful for everything he had, unfortunately finding this out later on in life.
So for that, I am grateful that Dad was grateful in the end. I'm so happy he figured out that family time was so much more important than materialistic things. We sat there watching the end of the Yankees game. Dad was a huge fan. And although the Yankees were losing, it was one of the best games he had ever seen because he saw everything with new eyes. Sometimes, it takes the worse case scenario to make you see 20/20.
This Thanksgiving, I am extremely grateful to be spending it with my family. I am heartbroken still that it's another Thanksgiving without Dad…again…but I know he is with us in spirit, smiling down on us.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Be grateful for every single loved one sitting around the table this Thanksgiving. A few good ones disappeared from our family photo, but the memories will forever live on.
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