JD has to work on Thursday in Ft. Worth and Rick and I are headed to see his family this weekend, so the Aldridges had our feast yesterday. Today, we will decorate the Christmas tree together. We continue to try to find a sense of normalcy, although our lives are anything but.

A quick update on Dad: Hospice brought in a hospital bed and oxygen, so he’s sleeping better at night. The referred pain comes and goes, but seems to be getting worse. We’ve doubled his pain medications but may be switching to morphine soon. Yesterday, when my mom told him the kids were coming over, he asked, “who?” She repeated, but he still didn’t seem to know who we were. Eventually he remembered and by the time we arrived he was happy to see us. He is in a bit of a brain fog. He is slow to speak when conversing, he has a hard time finding the word he wants and his memory has been slipping. He tends to withdraw because of this. We’ve been told that this is all very normal with liver failure. This is our new normal.

While sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner, we went around the table to say what we are thankful for. Dad said that he is thankful the pain is not far worse than it is. He is also thankful that the cancer brought him closer to and strengthened his relationship with God.

It is safe to say that every day is an emotional roller coaster for me. But as I sit here, in a house full of family, with dad’s oxygen machine humming in the background, I am overwhelmed by gratitude. How wonderful is it that I have such an inspiring, loving, devoted father that makes saying goodbye so hard?

The Aldridge family hopes each of you enjoy Thanksgiving with your families. As you sit down for dinner and bow your heads, please say a prayer of thanks for Derek.