5 a.m. is dark almost everywhere, but especially so in the mountains of Southern Utah. It’s where I find myself on Thanksgiving morn, getting ready to make the final drive home for the holiday.
I arrive to my parents home almost five hours later, to the sweet aroma of a turkey basting in the oven and roasted vegetables on the kitchen stove. I give my frail parents warm hugs, as the feeling of this being my last time seeing them alive lingers above me like a dark raincloud.
My brother’s and their families soon come busting through the door, and my parents house becomes alive with the bubbling personalities of my nieces and nephew. We enjoy dinner together, followed by games and laughter. I twinge slightly with the sudden melancholy that washes over me.
I miss them being in my life.
Friday comes and we all go to the movies. It is such a simple activity, but it undoubtedly brings me great joy. I think they all enjoyed the time together as well, although getting kids to admit it is damn near impossible.
Saturday is college game day for the University of Utah, but the game isn’t until 8 p.m. We decide to go ice skating this afternoon before the football tailgate. It all goes well until I stumble and fall, causing a great pain in my left arm.
Turns out I fractured my elbow, which definitely wasn’t the desired ending.
I go to the game anyway, but the medication makes me black out. I don’t remember a single thing, but I’m told we won the game. At least the freezing temperatures were a blur as well. I do miss my friends.
Sunday. The pain has me hobbled, and I end up sleeping all day with the TV on the NFL. I should be driving home, but another day of rest is needed before I make that long journey.
Monday comes, and with it is my long ten hour journey back to Arizona. One armed and wincing I slowly make it back, using the time to think about the memories I made on this Thanksgiving.