Counting their blessings comes easily to Cindy White and her family in Petaluma.
"I'm thankful for being alive and being here with my family and grandchildren," said White, 54, who was critically injured in a hit-and-run accident two months ago.
White, a developmentally disabled woman and an advocate for the disabled, is still in a wheelchair, unable to put any weight on her left foot, which was shattered in the Sept. 20 accident.
She faces additional surgery on her foot and a prolonged rehabilitation before she can return to work, possibly in the spring, doctors say.
"It's going to be a long process," White said.
She and her husband, Edward, 59, their daughter, also named Cindy White, 37, and her children, Conrad, 5, and Marhea, 13 months, will sit down to a Thanksgiving feast -- turkey and the trimmings -- today at a relative's home.
For Edward White, it's a day more meaningful than usual:
"I'm thankful I've still got my wife after 37 years," he said.
When he reached the Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital emergency room that morning, Edward saw his wife with a bloodied face and scalp, her foot badly twisted. He said he started praying for her.
Edward remained at the hospital for two straight days, and when Cindy woke up she told him, "You need a haircut and you look awful."
Edward went out for a haircut and new clothes.
Cindy White had left home, as usual, at 6 a.m. for the long bus trip to her job as a clerk at Sonoma Developmental Center in Eldridge. At 6:15 she was at the crosswalk on Petaluma Boulevard at D Street, and the last thing she remembers is looking both ways, then starting to cross the boulevard.
A Ford pickup, turning right onto the boulevard from D Street, ran over White and kept going. Police said White and the driver both had a green light, but the truck, which was never located, failed to yield.
White, who sustained broken ribs, internal injuries and a scalp wound, was hospitalized for 30 days.
The collision was her second setback of the year, following the death of her mother, Martha Hagemeier, from a stroke in March.
"That's going to be tough," Cindy White said, regarding her first Thanksgiving without her mother, who lived with Cindy and her family. "It hasn't hit me yet."
Edward, whose mother died in 2003, said the loss "hurts, but I got over it. It took a while."
He works at the Kohl's store in Petaluma, handling inventory and assisting customers.
Cindy White, a former client at Becoming Independent, a Santa Rosa agency that serves developmentally disabled adults, was thrilled to win a state job two years ago at the developmental center.
In January, she was named employee of the month at the center, home to about 680 disabled people.
White also serves as a Becoming Independent board member and on the 15-member Consumer Advisory Committee, which offers policy and program advice to the state Department of Developmental Services.
Her job awaits her return, she said.
"I love my job," White said. "I have a lot of friends out there."
Her grandson, Conrad, offered a child's view of today's holiday.
"I'm thankful that I have my toys and everything," Conrad said, pointing to little cars scattered on the living room carpet.
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