I thought I could battle through this. I thought that by now, everything would be fine – or at least reasonably so.
But that isn’t the case. And now I need to ask your help.
For the last decade, I’ve been in line at the crack of Thursday morning at the Empire State Plaza, ready to deliver Thanksgiving dinners to those in need as part of the Equinox Thanksgiving Day turkey delivery. It’s a charitable event that’s been near and dear to my heart. Every year, I’ll stand in line, waiting for the addresses to deliver turkeys and fixin’s throughout the Capital District. And off I go, through the Helderbergs, through the Adirondacks, through far-off locales, delivering these meals and feeling truly blessed to have this opportunity to share the holiday spirit.
Of late, though, my recent foot injury has seriously reduced my mobility. I’m still limping around in a walking boot, and the plans for healing – whether via surgery or otherwise – are still in the future.
But even with all that, I still hoped I could make the trip. That I can do this. That I could make this happen.
Yesterday, I spoke with one of my doctors regarding my plans.
“How many years have you been a part of this drive, Mr. Miller?”
“Almost a decade now,” I replied.
“You really should not be walking on that foot unless absolutely necessary,” the doctor said. “We still have to determine the best plan for healing. You have broken bones in that foot. Bones. As in more than one bone.”
“But I need to do this,” I told the doctor. “It’s helping others. Giving what I can.”
“You NEED to rest. Do not make this worse. People will understand. It’s not like you just said, ‘I’m sleeping in, let someone else do it this year.’ This is your health we’re talking about, Mr. Miller.”
“But I – you don’t understand. This is my Thanksgiving tradition. I need to do this. I’ve seen the people who receive these dinners. The joy of receiving these meals. So many times. It breaks my heart knowing that my not being there means that Equinox would be a driver short on their deliveries.”
“Mr. Miller, I do understand. But we also need to get you back to being completely mobile. On both feet. Without a walking boot. Without pain in your foot. Without broken bones. Without the possibility of infection or even worse.”
“But I – but I – ”
“Trust me, Mr. Miller. By this time next year, your foot will have healed to the point where you could deliver turkey dinners or anything else. But for now, I want you to rest your foot. And that’s doctor’s orders.”
So yeah… this.
Trust me, if I didn’t feel like trash already…
Now I feel like compost.
So unfortunately, I won’t be able to join the “Core 5” as the first people in line to deliver Thanksgiving dinners tomorrow. And it absolutely breaks my heart to say that.
So I need to ask you, my loyal blog readers. And I know it’s a last-minute request, and I’m not partial to last-minute requests … but …
Would any of you like to take my place in the line? Would you be willing to get up tomorrow, drive to the Empire State Plaza, wait in line and take a turkey dinner or three to a needy person or family in the Capital District if I can’t do it?
Because right now, although I feel like I can do this – my mind says I can do it, and my foot is giving me Monty Python and the Holy Grail quotes like, “‘Tis just a flesh wound, stand and fight” – I need to listen to my doctors.
And reluctantly… I can’t do the Equinox trip tomorrow.
I’m typing this right now, and just the realization of what I just typed in this blog – is tearing me apart.
I look back at the Equinox trips from years ago. The time in 2013 when I rescued that abandoned pitbull from the inside of a frozen car. The time in 2010 when I had an extra dinner (someone who was supposed to receive a dinner suddenly got invited out by his family and didn’t need it) and I found a returning wounded serviceman in the same building who needed a dinner. The other times … all of them … their holidays, and thousands of recipients, were improved by the kindness and generosity of drivers and volunteers and the wonderful souls of the Equinox charity.
Please. If anyone is reading my blog today, and they have some free time tomorrow morning…
If you could go to the Empire State Plaza and deliver a turkey dinner to someone in the Capital District – even one dinner to one family – that’s one more than before.
If you could do that – I would thank you a hundred times.
And so would the family who receives that turkey dinner.