chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
November 28, 2022

Chair’s Column

A Time of Gratitude

By Kathy Poppitt

I have some fun thoughts below to share about Thanksgiving traditions and food that my Texan family enjoys, but before that, I want to share my thoughts of gratitude after having time to reflect on a fairly rough year. Like many of you, my family started 2022 full of hope that the year would be a good one, thankful for life beyond COVID. Little did we know that we would soon be met with my sister Kristy’s new house burning to the ground, my brother-in-law Will being very seriously injured in an accident, and the loss of my husband’s younger brother Eric to a stroke—and that was all by March. These events and ones that followed (the last of which was my own recent serious health issue) were very challenging, and it was difficult not to get overwhelmed. But, in addition to relying on our faith, in order to cope, my family adopted the motto “We Will Figure It Out.” I am pleased to say that, for the most part, we have managed to live up to the motto and find so many reasons for gratitude in this season for giving thanks.

So many great things also happened this year, and I made a commitment to myself that I would not let the difficulties keep me from appreciating and celebrating the good. Some of the highlights are that my sister’s house is being rebuilt (and she has a new grandbaby on the way), Will is nearly completely healed and, while the loss of Eric remains difficult, it led us to reconnect with a part of the family that we had lost contact with. To top it off, my son Taylor got engaged to a wonderful woman, we had a fabulous summer vacation with lots of family, I was amazingly honored to become Chair of the Health Law Section, and I am currently in good health!

I won’t lie, I still wake up in the middle of the night worried about what the next call or event might bring, but for me, the result of the highs and lows of this year is an immense, deep, and abiding gratitude for, most of all, my loving and supportive family and friends and time spent with them, the good health of those I know and love, access to excellent healthcare and the amazing providers who are so dedicated and compassionate, and for the fun and opportunities that life provides. I sincerely hope that each of you also find reason for gratitude this Thanksgiving.

WOOHOO for Those Who Have Supported the HLS Turkey Trot!

I am also profoundly grateful for those of you who contributed to and participated in the HLS Turkey Trot benefiting the Breast Cancer Task Force. Thanks to your generosity, we are very close to our fundraising goal! If you want to help us reach that goal, please click here.

My Family’s Traditions for a Texas Thanksgiving

Your Thanksgiving traditions may or may not look like this, but I’m wondering if they’re similar or way off. What are your favorite traditions for Thanksgiving? Tell us! Here are mine:

  • Spend it with family and go around before the meal blessing to have each person say what they are thankful for—my sons came up with some interesting things over the years
  • Eat a traditional Thanksgiving meal (see below)
  • Eat it all again for a day or two and then have Tex Mex to spice it up!
  • Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
  • Use the best serving ware—china if you have it
  • Watch the Dallas Cowboys and/or Longhorns play football
  • Go to the movies
  • Take a walk
  • Run a turkey trot (this must be a Texas thing as well as the ABA HLS)—I admit that I have never worn a Thanksgiving-related costume, as many do
  • Go hunting the day before and come back in time for the meal or the football game—I am not personally a hunter but have family members who are

A Traditional Texas Thanksgiving Meal

Our Thanksgiving dinner includes some of the traditional favorites as well as a few dishes with a Texas flavor:

  • Smoked turkey
  • Honey-baked ham
  • Cornbread dressing and broccoli, cheese, and rice casserole (my mom still makes the BEST!)
  • Green beans or the traditional green bean casserole (all depends on who’s making it)
  • Brussels sprouts (this is newish)
  • Sweet potatoes or as a sweet potato casserole (I prefer the casserole—marshmallows are a must)
  • Mashed potatoes with lots of butter and cream
  • Rolls (lots and lots of rolls)
  • Sweet and unsweet tea
  • Cranberry sauce, sometimes fancy from Whole Foods and sometimes straight from the can and sliced
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Apple pie
  • Pecan pie

Please join me for the 2022 Washington Health Law Summit and the Managed Care Institute

I would love to see each of you at either or both of the upcoming conferences in DC. They will be very interesting and instructive. Please join me.

Please know that the HLS leadership is here to facilitate your involvement in the Section and that you can call on us at any time. I look forward to working with and talking to each of you over the next bar year and look forward to any feedback or suggestions you have.

The material in all ABA publications is copyrighted and may be reprinted by permission only. Request reprint permission here.