Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas 2015

Christmas was very different this year.  I don't really like change all that much. But sometimes you just have to be grateful for where ever it is that God has you in this time of your life.  I would have rather spent Christmas at my mom and dads house, eating a big breakfast after they came down to watch the boys open their gifts.  Even though I didn't get things exactly the way I wanted them today, I am still grateful that we were able to spend it as a family.  Everybody met at Brooks this morning and hung out and hand lunch together.  After lunch we went back up to dads room and made a gingerbread house. One of my moms teacher friends bakes these and decorates them every year.  This year she brought a baked one to the hospital so that my dad could work on it with the boys.  My dad was intrigued, and watched us as we put all the decorations on. The boys were interested in putting the roof on and that was about it. It turned into me and my mom and my sister decorating.  It was different but fun.  

After finishing the gingerbread house we we went home for a rest and then went to see Dennis' mom and step dad. It was a nice visit.  In an odd way my dad having a stroke has brought about a different connection between my mother in law and I.  While I would never wish something that drastic to bring improvement to a relationship, it is a positive that I can't ignore. Her father had a stroke 20 years ago and has no use of his right side and can not talk.  My husband also has a new appreciation for spending time with his family.  Never really being a fan of his family functions, and getting together for the holidays, seeing my dad have a stroke and then his bosses dad had a heart attack and another guy he works with, his mom had a stroke, he told all the guys he works with that they should take time to go spend with their parents because life can change so fast.  I don't know that he would have told them that if it hadn't been for my dads stroke.  So that is another positive to take from all this - my husband reminding others of the importance of spending time with their parents.

We all met back up at Brooks for a family dinner.  The backdrop was the family waiting room, but it had a big table that we were all able to sit around. If I had to choose between the rehab family waiting room and the ICU waiting room, where Thanksgiving dinner took place, I am happy to be in the rehab family waiting room - and be all together! (well for the most part, Becca and Uriah are in Oregon) It felt nice to eat together.  I also ordered a gingerbread cake for my dad, well for all of us for dessert.  Gingerbread used to be one of his favorites, we have been told that tastes can change after a stroke. He ate a few bites but I think he was just overwhelmed and tired.   I love this picture of my dad and my brother that I got while we were decorating the gingerbread house.  I tell you every time I ask my dad to smile it looks like that right side responds a little more!

We passed out gifts.  I can honestly say that the gift I received from my parents this year, will stand out in my memories, and just might be one of my all time favorite gifts.  I am not a fan of 'stuff' and it is really hard for me to see pictures that people post of all their stuff they receive for Christmas, which in most cases they will either out grow or throw away when the next best thing comes out. I get irritated and sad because some people are so caught up on the stuff, and they take so much for granted. The material stuff of this world is so fleeting, what can't be wrapped or physically put on for the world to see, makes a much more meaningful gift.  I love knowing that my mom, despite all that is going on, still found time to make each of us a card for Christmas with a handwritten message and then she and my dad signed it!  I will treasure it forever!  Oh, my sister also surprised me with a bag that she had made with pictures of me and Dennis and the boys.  It was a total surprise! And my other sister gave me a heart.  I love that small meaningful stuff. Life is so fragile and so much can change in the blink of an eye.

How great it was to finish this Christmas by seeing my dad walk!  Seth had been wanting to see him walk.  After we left he said that it was pretty cool to see grandpa walking again!  Sometimes I get frustrated by how much people take for granted.  Would you ever consider your dad being able to walk, a gift?  I do! 

Regardless of what is going on, we stick together as a family, but that doesn't mean it is always easy.  It was very hard having to leave him, just didn't seem right, not any day really, but especially on Christmas day.  Seemed like all day he was just saying that he wanted to go home.  We want him home too.
I love my parents so much!

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