Time seems to stand still or at least to a snails’ pace when you’re sitting in the ER waiting for a doctor to tell you everything’s going to be OK.

Time seems to stand still or at least to a snails’ pace when you’re sitting in the ER waiting for a doctor to tell you everything’s going to be OK.

When my sister called me last Friday, before most normal people are still trying to get their third cup of coffee down, I knew it wasn’t going to be good. Hoping the third time would be the charm, we headed to the ER after she spent the night fighting nosebleeds and vomiting, which combined with a migraine and high blood pressure, makes for a very sick and grumpy sister.

After they wheeled her out to get an MRI and I had an hour to think about everything I was supposed to be doing that day as well as the work I’d been ignoring while worrying about her, I realized I hadn’t yet written my column.

Since I’ve been writing this ongoing saga of my life, I’ve never missed a deadline and not submitted something. A couple of times when I was on vacation I’d at least do a rerun. It wasn’t like I hadn’t been working on it, since I usually mentally write parts of my column over the course of the week and then a couple of hours before deadline, pound it out.

I’ve tried writing it early, but it never happens. If I have too much time to contemplate or scrutinize what I write, it becomes intimidating and then nothing much comes out. I can sit in front of the computer screen for an hour, with my hands poised on the keyboard, and my mind will go blank.

By the time the doctors confirmed it was still a migraine and doped her up with painkillers, the deadline for my column had come and gone. It felt as though I had missed the opportunity to tell my best friend about my week and clear out the worries and troubles so I could begin again.

One of the doctors suggested my sister start journaling every day to relieve stress, and although she probably will never do it, I’m a believer. My journaling may be only once a week, and it’s in print so anyone and everyone can read it, but as I write it seems as though I’m writing to my one friend who will listen and not judge. If I gave much thought to the ramifications of what I may say while “spilling my guts” on paper, there wouldn’t be much to say. I’m thankful to have friends like you.

I had already thought of a long list of things I was going to write about last week since it would be the weekend before Thanksgiving, and I have so much to be thankful for.

Topping my list of things to be thankful for, as an American, is the freedom to give thanks the way I want to.

“Lord, as I bow my head to pray, and we celebrate Thanksgiving Day, help me have the right attitude, as I turn to you in gratitude.”