Monday, November 11, 2013
2013 November 11
November is apparently the month designated for expressing one's gratitude, at least in so far as my friend's Facebook posts indicate. I didn't jump onto that particular bandwagon this year, probably because of all the turmoil in my life at present. But,last night, as I lay awake in the middle of the night trying not to disturb Raymond or Greyla, my mind went to all the things for which I am grateful, even in the midst of trying circumstances and looming painful losses.
I have the love of a very special six year old boy and his equally special four year old sister and their Mom.
I am grateful for Raymond's brother and sister in law, who opened their home to us "for as long as you need" as I recover from surgery.
I am grateful that we have excellent health insurance which allowed me to have the surgery I needed to alleviate nagging discomfort.
I am grateful that I got to celebrate my incredible shrinking Daddy's 88th birthday with him and six of my seven siblings.
And I am grateful to have spent a lot of time with my Dad since his emergency surgery and subsequent cancer diagnosis this past February.
I am grateful for my brother Vinny, who has shouldered the responsibility of being Daddy's primary care giver throughout this stressful year. He has been a rock. I am also grateful that his retirement coincided with Daddy's health problems. I know this was NOT what he planned for his first year of retirement, but apparently God's timing won out.
I am grateful for my brother's neighbors, especially Harry and Ted, who check in on my Dad, and spend time chatting with him.
I am grateful for friends, some of whom are also family, especially Vinny and Barb. Those who are not family, but might be a sister from another Mother, like my friend Laura.
I am grateful for friends in real life, in cyberspace, and that area where they overlap. There are too many to name them all, but I am especially grateful for finally getting to meet Princess and Anick, after years of cyber friendship. I am also grateful for old friendships rekindled, as happened with LaVerne after 40 years.
I am grateful for Bill, chainsaw artist extraordinaire and contractor, as well as Ron and Barb's neighbor, who expressed concern for us as the weather turned colder, because he thought we were staying in the RV.
I am grateful for the support and caring of all these folks.
I am grateful for Raymond. This year has been as far from his plans as would seem possible, yet he has remained steadfast. Not to cast him as St Raymond, because there have been bumps and gullies in our road this year, and at times we have both behaved selfishly. But, when the stresses were intense, and my tears flowed like a river, he was there. I am grateful that when things got to what was a breaking point for me, his question, "You do know that I love you, right?", was the turning point.
I am grateful for the healing ability of this body that God has given me. When an anesthesia tech interviewed me the day after surgery, she referred to what the surgeon had done as "controlled trauma". I am grateful that God gifted Dr. Patrick Smith with the ability to use such controlled trauma to alleviate discomfort, pain, and disability.
I am grateful for Hospice care for my Daddy, that is enabling him to be in my brother's home where he has lived for the past 25 years. I am grateful that he can be in familiar surroundings, even if his mind continues to harken back to the Slovenski Dom, where he spent many childhood years before returning there for a time as steward in his late 50s to early 60s.
I am grateful to still have our 14 year old, black Lab, Greyla Girl! Just before her 14th birthday we were faced with a tough decision regarding surgery for her. I am grateful we opted to try and that we have gotten to enjoy her all these months since. I am grateful we had the resources, even if it means a little longer till we can be debt free. And I am grateful for the times her presence seems to lift my Daddy's spirits.
I am grateful for both the good, and the bad, because somehow, it is all part of God's plan.
I am grateful that God has a plan, even if I never fully understand.