It is November already and that means it’s gratitude month. For the last two years, I’ve publicly announced a daily gratitude during November. To be honest, I really really don’t want to do it this year. My plate is full, and I’m emotionally spent; adding one more thing to my day just doesn’t appeal to me. And that’s why I know it’s even more important that I do it.
Here goes . . .
November 1, 2011 – My Support Team
I absolutely have to start my gratitude with my support team. My mom died July 30 and we’ve moved my 87 year old dad in with us. He has some dementia and was born with a grumpy egocentric attitude that hasn’t mellowed with age. My life has changed dramatically in the last three months, and I would not be doing as well as I am (and trust me, I still have moments of utter darkness) without my support team.
At the top of the list is my husband who is the one who suggested my dad move in with us. He helps as much as he can, he listens to me when I need a shoulder, and he holds me when I think I can’t go on. My sons are also incredibly helpful whether it’s helping out with Dad or making dinner – or especially making me laugh. The four of us were a very tight family when Dad moved in and we’re taking good care of each other through this experience. I wish everyone could have three such men in their lives!
I need to add my brother-in-law to the list because he’s the one who listens to my husband when he needs to vent!
For those of you who have called, sent cards, notes, and emails – thank you! It helps to know I’m not alone.
It’s such a gift to know that when I need something (or someone), I just have to ask. It’s such a gift and a blessing to have a support team. I know that I’ll get through these challenging experiences because I have you all there to help and cheer me on. THANK YOU ALL!
What are you grateful for today and this month? ♥
November 2, 2011 – A Roof Over My Head
Not speaking for anyone here but myself, I have a tendency to take some things for granted such as having a safe and warm place to live. For anyone who lives in Reno (or any other place hit hard by the economy), a short drive around town will show you how many people don’t have a safe place to call home. For today, I vow to think about all those things, big and small, that I take for granted and having a roof over my head is a big one. I don’t have a fancy schmancy, spotless house, but I have a place to hang my hat that keeps us safe, warm and is filled with a lot of love. That is much to be thankful for!
Hope your November gratitude list is filled to the brim already! Mine is. ♥
November 3, 2011 – Police and Hospital Support
On Wednesday, November 2, my dad left to go to the grocery store at 3:30pm and never came home. Two hours later, I was getting frantic and by 7:30, when my family had gone everywhere Dad would normally go, we called the police and the hospitals. By 11:00pm, we filed a missing person’s report with an officer who was beyond kind and took us seriously. It was a LONG night. Early in the morning, a woman from Reno PD called and got all the information needed to put a flyer together for the news media. She gave me her private number. I called the hospitals again, and one hospital was over-the-top fabulous, encouraging me to call every hour until he was found while another hospital hung up on me.
The lady from Reno PD kept in touch (and I hate that I don’t remember her name) and finally, she called closed to 1pm saying he’d been found by the California Highway Patrol nearly 100 miles away. She was beyond kind, giving me the information needed. My husband called the contact with CHP and he was beyond kind. My dad had crashed his truck and rolled it down a 50′ ravine into a creek and was semi-conscious. Once the had him extracted from the truck and out of the ravine, CHP called again to tell us Dad was being careflighted to the trauma center in Reno. Reno PD also called to tell us.
As soon as the helicopter landed at the hospital, a social worker from the hospital called and everyone there has been fabulous. This kindness and going the extra mile for us has made a very frightening experience bearable. I am so very grateful for all of them and of course, to God as well because it’s a miracle Dad was even found in the remote location he was in – and with no broken bones or serious injuries! He has hypothermia from being in the truck overnight in freezing temperatures and water (core temperature was 84 upon arriving at the hospital).
Thank you Reno PD, California Highway Patrol, Nevada Highway Patrol and Renown Medical Center for being so incredible at your jobs!
November 4, 2011 ~ My Sons, the Chefs
I’ve spent a very long very difficult day at the hospital with my dad. My husband and I are spent. We just came home and my sons have cooked dinner for us. Shopped (paid for it themselves) and cooked! What a gift! Yes, the kitchen is wrecked but I could use the clean up time to decompress. I have the best sons in the world! Thank you Eric and Chad!
November 5, 2011 ~ Nurses at Renown Medical Center
Today was another difficult day at the hospital. The nurses taking care of my dad, both RNs and CNAs, are incredible. He is nasty to them and very difficult to take care of and they handle him with dignity. They take the time to answer my questions, reassure me that I’m doing the right thing (even when I got upset with dad), and I just rest easy when I’m not there that Dad is in good hands. They take a huge load off my mind and that is absolutely something to be grateful for right now.
November 6, 2011 ~ Fresh Air
This might sound like a nutty one but I feel half nuts at the moment. 🙂 After being stuck in a hospital most of the day, it’s a joy to go outside and breathe in the fresh crispy Fall air. It smells good, it feels good, and after a long stressful day, it felt wonderful to experience this change in perspective. Thank you Mother Nature for this gift.
November 7, 2011 ~ Dogs Who Know
Today, I came home from the hospital absolutely spent. I crawled into my bed with all my clothes on and started to sob. Within a minute or two, my 21 month old German Shepherd jumped up on the bed and laid against me – spine to spine. He let out a great big sigh that made me giggle. He knew I needed comfort and he was there, giving it in the best way he knew how. All we really need when things get challenging is to know that we are loved and he reminded me. He didn’t fix anything, but he helped me shift my perspective and that’s how we keep putting one foot in front of the other through these challenges. Thank you Rolf! ♥
First Week of Gratitude Month Recap
What a week – certainly one I didn’t expect. I’m very grateful for all of your prayers and well-wishes. My dad has a long tough road ahead and I don’t know how this will turn out, but I am very grateful that I don’t have to walk it alone. Thank you all so much!