Thursday, November 26, 2015

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving - the expression of gratitude, especially to God. 
Thanksgiving - a public acknowledgement or celebration of divine goodness.

The phrase, "life can change in the blink of an eye," just doesn't seem to adequately express the magnitude of what that feels like to live through.  Five days ago my father had a major stroke.  Three days ago he had a large portion of his skull removed to relieve pressure from swelling in his brain.  Last night we were told he has a blood clot that can not currently be treated because of some bleeding on his brain.  Thanksgiving day mom would prepare a big thanks giving dinner. We would all meet at mom and dads, grandma and pop would come over, we would all sit at the dining room table and take time going around the table and saying what we are thankful for.  This Thanksgiving was very different.  We still went to mom and dad, but this year it wasn't at the home we all grew up in, but rather at the Hospital.  We stand beside each other, no matter what, no matter where we are in life!  We gathered around them both, and lifted them in prayer and thanksgiving. I really have a lot to be thankful for, I do every year, but this year the list seems longer as I realize just how much I take for granted.  

I am grateful that God has a plan.
I am grateful that my dad is still alive.
I am grateful that my mom is still alive.
I am grateful that my mom is so strong.
I am grateful that my family is so close. 
 I am grateful that Mayo Hospital is so close to where we live.  
I am grateful for the doctors and nurses that have saved my dads life. 
I am grateful for my grandparents.  
I am grateful for my supportive husband.
I am grateful for my compassionate boys.  
I am grateful for my sisters and my brother.
I am grateful for our ability to relate to one another.
I am grateful we are able to take care of my mom.   
I am grateful for my aunts and uncles.
I am grateful for my cousins.
I am grateful for the friends who have kept checking on me.
I am grateful for the people that have showed up to support my mom.
I am grateful for all the people who are praying for my dad.
I am grateful for medical technology.
I am grateful for Neuroscience Research.
I am grateful that I can move my arms and legs.
I am grateful that I can verbally communicate.
I am grateful that I can see out of both eyes.
I am grateful that my brain is not delayed in receiving information.
I am grateful that my organs are working properly. 
I am grateful that I can stand up.
I am grateful that I can walk.
I am grateful that I can convey my needs.
I am grateful that I can swallow my food.

I am grateful that my dad is still alive.
I am grateful my dad is a fighter. 
I am grateful that he can open his eyes.
I am grateful that he is trying to use his left arm to move his right arm.
I am grateful that he knows who we are.
I am grateful that he can squeeze my hand.
I am grateful for the nods he gives me when I talk.
I am grateful that my dad is still alive.

When we went to see him this afternoon, he was definitely wanting to get up and move and kept trying to get out of the chair they had him sitting in and kept trying to take the helmet off.  He is so strong, at one point it took 4 of us to keep his hand down as he tried to remove the helmet because of how persistent he was in removing it and how strong he is. Mom showed him how to change the channels using the remote, and he was able to do that on his own....then when anybody tried to take the remote from him he would pull it back towards himself and not let anybody take it!  Some things never change....he always had to have the 'power' at home - the remote control!

I felt a little more encouraged after seeing him today.  I know we have a long road ahead but I know he still has that fight in him.  I know he is frustrated with how things are.  I know he is stuck with us!  I love my dad!

1 Thessalonians 5:18 ...give thanks in all circumstances, this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus...
While this is incredibly hard to do sometimes, I have to believe there is a purpose in this pain, otherwise I would not have any hope.

2 comments:

Anna Threadgill said...

Strokes are hard. The neurology team at Mayo is amazing. Your dad is in great hands with them and Him. Your words are beautiful. Your mom is amazing. I don't know your dad, but I do know this, it's good he's stubborn. It's great he can move his hands and fight to hold that remote. He will need your support more than ever. Strokes mess with the brain in many ways. My suggestion is research. Find out from his doctors exactly (the best they can) which areas look to be affected the most. His behaviors will change due to the affected areas. He is a survivor! You are lucky to have him BUT he is lucky to have you ALL. I'm familiar with strokes. I've had 6. My brain has gotten stronger over the last 2 years, but it does take time. It will tire out your dad. Prayers to you all.

Rachel Van Deusen said...

Wow, you give me hope! Just what I needed to read tonight. I don't know you, but I thank you for your encouragement and the hope that provides!