L

ife has been a challenge for many people over the last few years, myself included. 

Several people close to me died in the last year due to COVID-19. My boyfriend’s dad went to the hospital last year around this time as I nursed his son at my house, hoping to keep his parents safe. Of course we all caught it, but while they were walloped by symptoms, mine was more like bad allergies. 

While I miss them, I am thankful for the memories. 

The doctor said my boyfriend’s 88-year-old dad was improving and recovery looked promising. The next day, Thanksgiving morning, my boyfriend got a call in the wee hours of the morning telling him his dad took a turn for the worst and there was nothing they could do but make him comfortable. He was gone 30 minutes later.

I adored his dad. He moved to the U.S. from India in the late 1960s, met his wife in New York and they moved to Duluth, where my boyfriend was born and raised. He reminded me of one of the grandpa muppets from Sesame Street and still had a hint of an accent. He went on to be a psychology professor at the University of Minnesota, Duluth for about 30 years until his retirement. He smiled every time I stopped by the house and always asked what story I was working on. 

This summer it was my “other mother”, my ex mother-in-law. I called her ma and she called me daughter. One of my first memories of her was when I started dating her son. We were still in high school. She dressed in hot pink leather pants to go listen to her oldest son sing in his rock band. She had been a go-go dancer in the 1960s and still looked great. My mom never dressed like that! 

All these years later, that memory still makes me smile. 

As I write this column from the comfort of my home, Johnny Cash Christmas music plays in the background and my 16-year-old cat is happily curled up in my lap, purring. I think she is smiling. Sometimes it’s the little things in life that are most important. 

I am also thankful for good health, good friends, my three kids and the latest addition of the two youngest little angels, my twin granddaughters. 

I know I am lucky. I know people who didn’t live long enough to get married, have children or grandchildren or even experience life past 30. They each touched my life in their own way. 

Last but not least, I am thankful for my coworkers and our readers! My coworkers work well together and make work fun. I also enjoy meeting and getting to know our readers as I interview you for stories or see you out and about. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

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