2011 was a tough year for Patrick. He desperately needed to sell the house that he and Stephanie had bought and built together, endured heart surgery early in the year, then in the fall he tumbled and broke his foot while trying to build a chicken coop. (He was standing on a chair and one leg sank into the soil, pitching him to the ground.) Afterwards, the foot didn’t heal properly and he was struggling to get around.
With reluctance, my employer allowed me to go visit him but since I was working on a hot project, I agreed to take a company laptop and phone with me. I put in 40+ hours per week while there, mostly in the music studio sitting at Stephanie’s old spot, looking across the valley from time to time to give my eyes a rest.
As it turns out, I was there for Thanksgiving. He and I did the math and, as best we could figure, it had been 50 years since we’d last shared such a holiday together.
He said he knew of one place that served the traditional (by USA standards) turkey dinner, so we drove down from Deia to a village outside of Palma, only to discover it was no longer there. Instead, we went to a wonderful place with tasty strips of steak cooked on a grill kind of like a hibachi, but not exactly.
It was a special meal, and a special time. As it turned out, it would also be our last Thanksgiving together.
This year, as I think of Patrick, I give thanks for those years that he was in my life, and forgive him for the years he was absent.
Happy thanksgiving to all.