Politics, Moderate



Giving thanks

Tom Purcell on

I pushed the cart as I helped him work through the long shopping list my mother provided until the cart was packed to the ceiling.

When we finally pulled the loaded-down station wagon into our garage everyone in the house was alerted and the massive unloading process began. It was like a Red Cross relief operation!

And then the theme song for “The Walton’s” would begin to play, just as we settled down for our snacks and a new episode of one of my favorite shows.

I didn't know then why I loved that wholesome family show so much, but I know now.

I loved it because my mother and father gave up so much to give so much to us and that still fills me with a profound sense of security.

The stress of feeding us on one income took its toll on my mom and dad.

When I was 18 we thought my dad had suffered a heart attack. I couldn’t stop the tears as I raced behind the ambulance taking him to the hospital.

But the doctor got his diagnosis wrong, and boy, was it wonderful to get my healthy, sturdy dad back home to celebrate the holidays that year.

I got my first nice car when I was 24, a 1986 Pontiac Firebird with T-tops, and I can still see my dad laughing out loud as he revved the motor and smoked the wheels — payback for the damage his lead-footed son had done to several of his cars.


I wasn’t thankful for his behavior that day, but it makes me laugh out loud now.

We are all lost in our own ways without my dad. My mother, with him nearly 70 years, is especially suffering, and for me that’s the most painful part.

But despite the grief, my glass is more than half full.

Thanksgiving for my family this year cannot in any way be the same without my dad there, but I’ll do my best to recite Grace in his absence.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Copyright 2022 Tom Purcell, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Purcell, creator of the infotainment site ThurbersTail.com, which features pet advice he’s learning from his beloved Labrador, Thurber, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist. Email him at Tom@TomPurcell.com.

Copyright 2022 Tom Purcell, All Rights Reserved. Credit: Cagle.com




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