Blog: Thanksgiving

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Burt Ross

As I have written before, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Were it not for the fact it’s a harbinger of what always turns out to be a busy holiday season, I would be able to enjoy it wholeheartedly rather than 95 percent heartedly.

My family does what many other families do at the Thanksgiving table. We hold hands, go around the table, and each of us talks about what we are grateful for.

I already know what I am most grateful for this past year: Phil Ross—my confidante, my friend, my biographer, my one and only sibling, my older brother by three years and nine months—Phil had a terrible accident last April and had a miraculous recovery. 

Phil fell down a flight of stairs in his home, shattered his femur and after extensive surgery went into septic shock. He was on total life support, and the doctors gave him no better than a 50 percent chance of surviving. After a few horrific days, Phil came to, and after months of rehabilitation, he is back home. Although his mobility is limited by a walker, Phil is as full of life as always.

Now that my parents are gone, there is nobody else who has shared my entire life other than my brother. There is barely a day or two when we don’t speak with each other (He lives in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York).  He is on a very short list of my inner circle. To have seen him near death and now full of life is a blessing for which I give thanks.

I am painfully aware that some of my friends have had a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad” year, or as Queen Elizabeth so eloquently put it years ago an “annus horribilis.” I realize that for those friends, the holiday is unfortunately a reminder of their losses, and I can only hope that time lessens the rawness of their suffering. 

I wish you all a fulfilling (forget the diet for a couple of days) holiday, and may you all have blessings to be grateful for.