Sunday, December 20, 2015

A grateful heart...

It is hard sometimes during the difficult times to see much good.  The good is all around, but the pain feels like more than we can handle at times.  I must say since my dad had the stroke, I have seen a lot of people come out of the wood work to be there for me or my family.  And I know there are countless others who are thinking about and praying for my dad and our family on a daily basis.  Today I was thinking about how people have stepped up - I know I am missing some things on this list but I will continue to add to it as we continue on this journey....

The friends and family who showed up the day we sat and waited for my dad to come through the life threatening surgery to clear out most of the blockage in his carotid artery. 
The snacks and drinks brought by one friend.
The pastors who showed up to pray with us.
Church friends who showed up to pray with us.
School friends who showed up to just be there for my mom.
People we didn't even know, praying for my dad.
He made it through surgery - we rejoice!
Then another surgery is needed. 
The skull is removed and the swelling on his brain begins to go down.
The texts and phone calls and facebook messages continued.
My mom received a nice card with cash in her teacher mailbox.
A friend of my moms showed up with a complete Thanksgiving dinner for us - even if it took place in the ICU waiting room on the fourth floor at mayo - and yes we invited everybody in that waiting room to eat with us. 
Blood clot is found in my dads arm. It's in a vein, not an artery - we rejoice!
He recognizes who we are.
The texts and phone calls and facebook messages continue.
His charity application is accepted at Brooks - we rejoice!
The occupational therapists teaching my dad how to dress and clean his hands and brush his teeth.
The speech therapist teaching him how to communicate with us. 
The physical therapist teaching him how to walk again.
The teacher who quietly put a card on my moms desk one day, to encourage her.
My grandpa for keeping up with shaving my dads face.
My grandma for keeping her home made vegetable beef soup made.
The people who call to check on my mom.
The stranger in South Carolina who gave my cousin a power wheel chair for my dad.  
The Thursday morning ladies group leaving giftcards and gifts and notes of encouragement on my front porch one day.  A day that had been rather difficult.
A friend of the family and her church who donated the resources and some of their friends who donated their time and showed up to build a ramp for my dad for when he comes home.
The neighbor across the street from my parents how makes sure the garbage is taken out each week.
The texts, phone calls and facebook messages. 
This list is incomplete but it is quite a list - and really just skims the surface of the good things that have happened, in spite of this crisis. 

So many times we want to do something to help others during their time of suffering when the best thing we can do for them is just show up, just be there.  

There are so many things that I took for granted and never thought twice about but are things that my dad has to concentrate on in order to achieve. Talking. Walking.  Looking forward while walking. Eating. Clearing out his right cheek. Brushing his teeth.  Washing his hands.  Getting dressed. Getting his shoes on. Rolling over in bed. Sitting up.  Standing up. Reading. The ability to go where I want to go without a second thought. The ability to voice how I am feeling or what I am thinking. 
Today I enjoyed listening to my husband and my father sing the national anthem together!  I love how my husband cares for my dad. I enjoyed watching my dad play some golf with my boys.  Dennis put a real golf ball and a real golf club in his hand and it was nice to see my dad participating!  Seth gives my dad hugs now every time we get ready to leave.  And today, for the first time since everything happened my Ivan gave my dad a high five!  He was also playing peek a boo with my dad.  Everything is going to be ok. We stick together.  We never give up on those we love. We've got this. We are never promised an easy road to walk, but the blessings that come from the pain, we wouldn't ever get to experience if it weren't for the pain.  And there have indeed, been many blessings that have come out of all this. 

I love my dad.  He is a fighter. Everyday I see him do things they said he probably never would.  I love my mom.  She is a fighter. Everyday I see her encourage my dad and believe that he can and will do things that they said he probably never would. 

"...if you focus on the needs of others you will discover that you have more than enough..." Mark Batterson 

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