Maribeth Doerr

Shades of Healing ~ Creating a Wholehearted Life

Healing Gratitude – Amy Purdy’s TEDTalk

Check out this incredible TEDTalk by Amy Purdy:

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Healing Gratitude Quotes

Gratitude is a flower that blooms in noble souls. ~ Pope Francis

Gratefulness makes two hearts glad. Else Pannek

Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer.  – Maya Angelou

It’s not possible to be upset and worried while feeling appreciative.  ~ Patti Teel

If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice. ~ Meister Eckhart

Gratitude can occur in the most unlikely of circumstances.  ~ Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. in his book, Thanks!:  How the new science of gratitude can make you happier

Gratitude is absolutely the way to bring more into your life.  ~Marci Shimoff

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Can You Help Me Bring Yoga to Women Pregnant After Pregnancy/Infant Loss?

In 2014, I had a successful GoFundMe campaign to complete Baby Loss Doula Training.  Thank you all so much for helping me achieve that dream.  In 2015, I completed the requirements and am a certified baby loss doula.  I help women and families in my community as well as across the country (and even one in Australia!).  I do this work as a volunteer, and as a woman who went through labor knowing my baby would be born dead (and knowing after delivery that my second son would die as well), I understand the need for women to have someone help them make plans for their birth when they know their baby will not survive.  This work is truly a labor of love.  These babies are wanted and cherished and these few moments (or days) after birth is the only chance their parents have to parent them.  I help them decide how they want to do exactly that.  You helped me achieve a dream come true!  Thank you thank you thank you!

On that first GoFundMe campaign, I had a wish list that included Prenatal Yoga Teacher training.  I am a registered yoga teacher (RYT) and now it’s time for me to take the next step in helping women who experience pregnancy/infant loss and to full fill that first campaign.  Pregnancy after loss is an incredibly emotional roller coaster.  Yoga helps with anxiety and stress; yoga for women who are pregnant again after pregnancy loss not only helps with grief but also with the fear that goes with another pregnancy.  It also helps with bonding with the new little one while holding space for the love for the baby that died.

I want to bring yoga to these women and I pray and hope you’ll help me.  My goals are to teach locally, to offer private lessons both locally and via skype which includes grief coaching and to make yoga videos for women who are not local or wish to learn over the internet.  I have yet to find anyone who is serving families in this way.  It’s needed – and badly!

I need your help to fund my training.  And good news!  Since my first GoFundMe where I thought I’d have to travel to San Francisco, there is now a prenatal yoga teacher training in my area (where I completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training) beginning in January 2017, provided there are enough signups at the training studio.  I need $1370 by January 1, 2017.  The additional amount to $1500 is for the fees that GoFundMe and WePay charge for this fundraiser (7.9% plus .30 per donation).  Can you help?

My wish list items include:  hoping to be certified in chair yoga and gentle yoga so that I can teach seniors at my church.  I am a Registered and Certified Yoga Teacher.  It would be helpful to be certified in chair yoga ($695) and gentle yoga for seniors ($495).  I can teach these now; however I am not certified and in teaching seniors, certification is extremely helpful and valuable.

I am in the process of creating my own brand of Yoga for Grief and I hope to debut that in Summer 2017.  In the meantime, I humbly ask you to help me help women grieving a pregnancy loss and/or trying to conceive/are pregnant again after a loss(es).  Getting back in touch with your body after such a loss is so important and vital.  Yoga can do this; someone trained in pregnancy loss support AND yoga can help these women move forward with less anxiety which always is better for baby!  Help me be that person.

To donate, click here.  And thank you for sharing this information with your friends and family.

From my heart to yours,

maribethsig

 

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2015 Recap – Completion (and Celebration)

2015 was full of changes for me.  I started the year working full-time at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Reno.  I was intending to only work full-time until another office person was hired and then my hours would go back to part-time.  When they offered me a full-time job, I said yes with a full heart.  It’s been a blessing in so many ways.  It’s also been a challenge to be up and out of the house early in the morning and being committed to a 9-5 gig.  Adjustments have been made and I get to work with the most amazing people!  It’s all been totally unexpected and a rather nice surprise at that!

2015 was also a year of completion (and I LOVE the sound of that!).  I finished Yoga Teacher Training and was certified in January after a 14 month process of classes, study, practice, teaching (and filming myself teach – YIKES!), and getting to know myself in the process.  I had a couple of injuries (both unrelated to yoga) that I had to work around which is one of the blessings of yoga – meeting yourself where you’re at in that moment of time.  This training helped me develop kindness for my body, something that was sorely lacking in my life!  In the fall, I registered with the Yoga Alliance and am now a Registered Yoga Teacher.  Never thought I would do this at age in my mid-50’s!  yogacertification

What am I doing with this?  Not much  . . . YET!  I have workshop ideas and I do want to teach soon.  Stay tuned for details on Beacon of Light Yoga along with my own personal brand of yoga for grief.  It’s all in process and I’m loving the journey.

Another completion after nearly 18 months of training and study . . . I’m a certified Baby Loss Doula.  This means I can be with laboring women who know their baby will be stillborn or die shortly after birth.  I can also help women who know ahead of time that their baby will not live long; I help them create birth plans and show them ways to parent their baby with the short time they have.  And of course, it also involves working with them through their bereavement process (something I’ve been doing since 1988!).  My thanks to those of you who helped me fund the doula workshop I needed to attend as part of this process.  I couldn’t have done it without you!BLDcertification

In November 2014, I finished Hospice Volunteer training at my local hospital, and I was assigned a few patients in 2015.  Such amazing work!  These families are precious, and my heart is overflowing with gratitude each time I make a visit.

It feels so good to have these big trainings done and I’ve been basking in more time than I’ve had for the last 18 months.  So what’s up for 2016?  I’ll have time this year to take on a few coaching clients again (holler if you’re interested!).  I’ll be practicing yoga and teaching at some point this year.  I also truly hope to take prenatal yoga teacher training in 2016 so that I can teach yoga to mamas pregnant again after a loss.  I’m looking at funding resources for this so holler if you know of anything!  Subsequent pregnancies are such a roller coaster and yoga can definitely help with that (and even help with bonding to that special rainbow baby).  I will also be writing more too so I hope you’ll pop by now and then!  Say hello!

Blessings to you and yours in 2016.  There are so many heartbreaking things happening in our world right now.  Please reach out and share your joy and kindness whenever you can.  The world NEEDS you!  My love and gratitude to you all.

 

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An Invitation to Celebrate

Life is full of surprises. Sometimes those surprises bring us to our knees, and we wonder how we’ll ever recover. Later on, (whether it’s weeks or many years later) you’ll probably find yourself shaking your head at the memories, proud that you survived. Somewhere along the way, you rediscovered the natural resilience you were born with and found a way; it’s what we all do eventually.

Today, I invite you think about what something difficult in your life and how you’ve learned from it, or found something positive in it, or how you’ve DONE something positive because of it. And I invite you to celebrate it, today, in the midst of the holidays/holidaze/hellidays.

Why today? In 1982, my beautiful son, Mark Adam Pruett, was born. He died 5 1/2 days later. I CELEBRATE his life every December 11, and I invite all of you to celebrate with me by remembering something difficult in your life that you turned into something positive in some way. It’s 6 degrees F as I write this, and thinking of Mark and his great big life makes me feel warm and radiant. Mark has been my greatest gift. I am so grateful I got to be him mom. He taught me more about life and myself in 5 1/2 days than anyone else ever could. I am a better person and definitely a better mother than I otherwise would have been. I grieve his death but I CELEBRATE his life. His loss was a gut wrenching experience that began a chain of more loss in my life. I didn’t think I would survive; I almost didn’t . . . but I did. I rediscovered my natural resilience and I moved forward while always keeping him in my heart; I chose AND and I continue to do so every day, even when it’s painful.

So, what’s your story? I’d love to hear your reversals, rediscoveries, and reinventions. Here’s a toast to Mark Adam; I hope you’ll please celebrate with me today.

Mark Adam Pruett 1st Picture - December 11, 1982

Mark Adam Pruett
1st Picture – December 11, 1982

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Looking for Beauty

December has always been a difficult month for me.  I talk about it a bit in this video.  This year, we have the added shock and horror of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings.  With so much ugliness and sorrow, it’s very easy to forget there IS, there truly is, beauty in this world.

Because I’ve been sucked up into a pity party pit lately because of my health (and yada yada yada), I went on a mission to find ways to feed my soul beyond my usual morning meditation and afternoon yoga.   Music tends to work wonders so blasting the tunes while I’ve been painting and scraping in my future ZenRoom helps a lot.  But I really needed some visual beauty – and then I found this:

If you actually watched that (and listened), you might have a new view of “Oh my God!”  Beautiful, isn’t it?  Worthy of a deep healing sigh . . .  If you skipped over the video, give yourself a 9+ minute gift and enjoy it.  I KNOW you have 9 minutes to do it and it’s worth it, trust me.

From my heart to yours, blessings this holiday season.   And if you have an extra minute, tell me where you find the beauty in this challenging world.

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Healing Gratitude – It’s Easier than You Think

Definition of gratitude from dictionary.com:
Noun:  the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.

Definition of grateful from dictionary.com:
Adjective:  warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful

In the United States, November is the month of Thanksgiving, a time to celebrate our abundance (usually in the form of eating too much).  Many of us don’t even think about it the other 364.25 days of the year.  So, since it’s the season of thankfulness, let’s take a few minutes to consider how gratitude merits more consideration than just one meal or one day per year.

If we’re honest with ourselves, it’s easy to take things for granted. So often life gets in the way and it hampers our ability to see all our blessings, especially the smaller ones.  Research proves, however, that gratitude can shift your focus in powerful healing ways.  Thinking about the blessings in your life (the glass being half full) shifts your focus away from what you don’t have, and how many of us are so consumed and worried about what we don’t have?!  We don’t have enough . . . (fill in the blank).

I don’t have enough money . . . I don’t have enough love . . .  I don’t have enough friends . . . I don’t have enough time . . . I don’t have enough shoes . . . I don’t have enough tv channels . . . I don’t have enough nail polish . . . I don’t have enough . . .

That voice telling you that you don’t have enough can be rather insidious!  Let’s give that voice a rest.  Let’s shift our perspective a bit.  When you think about what you DO have, you stay in the present moment.  Robert Emmons, Ph.D. is a positive psychologist and the author of Thanks!  How the new science of gratitude can make you happier.  He explains how important and even liberating staying in the present moment is: “By appreciating the gifts of the moment, gratitude frees us from past regrets and future anxieties.  By cultivating gratefulness, we are freed from envy over what we don’t have or who we are not.  It doesn’t make life perfect, but with gratitude comes the realization that right now, in this moment, we have enough, we are enough.”

Read that quote again and let it sink in.  Doesn’t that feel good?  Dr. Emmons’ research shows that people who cultivate gratitude are 25% happier than those who don’t.  That may not sound like much but who doesn’t want to be 25% happier?!  Happier people are healthier people.  Happier people are resilient people.  Resilient people tend to experience less depression and stay physically healthier.

We’ve all heard how stress can ruin health.  I’m the poster child for how stress can wreak havoc on your body!  Practicing gratitude is one of the best stress busters.  Remember that 25% happier stat?

Cultivating and practicing gratitude isn’t difficult.  Most gratitude experts recommend keeping a gratitude journal.  Since I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal consistently, I’ve noticed the changes in my attitude and as cheesy as it sounds, in my heart.  Every night when I go to bed, I write down five things I’m grateful for that day.  Sometimes, they’re big things but most often they’re small things such as . . . My heater is working tonight when it’s so cold outside.  Or . . . I’m grateful my husband cooked dinner.  I’ve even written, “I’m glad this day is finally over so I can start fresh tomorrow.”  When I’m feeling especially blue and thinking I have nothing to be grateful for, I grab my journal and thumb through it, reading all the things I’ve been grateful for.  Even during my darkest days (I’ve had a lot of them in the last year), I manage to find something, however small, to express my thanks for in my little gratitude journal.  Some days, it might take me 15 minutes to think of five things to write down but I always get there.  I’ve even mentioned the color of a rose in my front yard that I love!  It doesn’t HAVE to be a big thing.  Being grateful for the little things is a perfect way not to take anything for granted.

No matter what life has tossed out at you this last year, a little thought will uncover something, someone, or someplace to be thankful for. Cultivating gratitude is one way of noticing everything.  Beauty and joy becomes more vivid, and as this gladness starts to grow in your heart, you’ll start to notice the healing (yes, healing!) that gratitude brings.

Start to cultivate your gratitude attitude during this season of Thanksgiving.  It’s a great way to plant that seed and keep it growing through the holiday season and on into the new year.  Let go of the lack mentality; your glass really is half full.

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Creating Compassionate Community – How to Support Baby Loss Parents

Loving Mark Adam who taught me more about love, life, and myself than any other person in the world.

One in four pregnancies result in a loss of some type which means nearly a million babies in the United States alone are lost.  If you haven’t experienced a loss, it’s very likely that you know someone who has.   As widespread as pregnancy/infant loss is, it’s a very misunderstood experience and frequently swept under the rug.  Baby loss parents often feel very alone, even shunned.   I know I did, and I know many parents who have felt the same way.

Since October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month in the United States, and October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day in several countries, it’s the perfect time to focus on awareness for both baby loss parents and their friends/family.

Why is pregnancy/infant loss ignored?    

As a culture, we tend to compare ourselves with others (and compare our friends with other friends), and this, unfortunately, includes grief.  Most people have a ranking list somewhere in their heads of what the worst possible loss would be for them, followed by the next worst loss, etc, until they get to the bottom of their list.  This is their hierarchy of loss list, and everyone’s list is different.  The lower a loss is placed, the more a loss is minimized.

With pregnancy/infant loss, many people rank their lists by how far along the pregnancy was when it ended.  The further along a pregnancy was, the higher the loss is placed in the hierarchy.   Early miscarriages are then seen as an unfortunate experience to be forgotten as soon as the bleeding stops.

The perception of these types of losses is further diminished by the simple fact that no one else but the parents knew this little person.   We grieve because we love, and it doesn’t matter to us how old a person was (or how far along a pregnancy was).  However, for friends and family to make sense of the loss, they try to lessen the loss by lessening the attachment (and love).  Unfortunately, the ways of trying to do that are often the most hurtful.

When a baby loss parent hears . . .

  • You should be over it by now (even if it’s only been a few weeks)
  • What’s the drama?  It’s been XX years or “it” was just a mass of cells
  • At least she wasn’t 5 or 15 or (fill in the blank).  That would be worse.  You didn’t have time to get to know her.
  • Maybe you weren’t meant to be a mother.
  • You wouldn’t want a defective child.
  • You’re young; you have plenty of time to have another baby.
  • He was incomplete.  What’s there to grieve?
  • You have three healthy children.  You have to move on for them and stop feeling so bad.
  • When are you going to stop grieving for a baby?  You’re ruining Christmas for everyone.
  • Everything happens for a reason.  Accept it and move on.
  • It was for the best.
  • I know how you feel.  My dog/cat just died.
  • You need to get back to the happy person you were before.
  • God is punishing you for your sins.
  • Next pregnancy, don’t exercise so much.
  • Your baby died because you’re vegetarian and you starved him to death.
  • At least you know you can get pregnant.

.  .  .  when a parent hears these comments, s/he feels SHAME.  These comments imply that they’re grieving incorrectly, that they’re broken  .  . .

I really don’t think anyone truly wants to hurt a bereaved parent, and most of these shaming comments are meant with good intentions.  My mother said some of the MOST hurtful things to me after my losses, and I know she never intended to inflict more pain.  She wanted to help and didn’t know how.  Nevertheless, her comments HURT as do all of these comments no matter how well intentioned they are.   By the way, all of those comments above are real comments said to real baby loss parents.  And they are all incredibly hurtful!

So, before you say something to a baby loss parent (and yes, they are still parents even if they do not have living children!), stop for a bit.  Take a deep breath and really listen to what the parent may – or may not – be saying.  Note their body language.  It could be that the only thing needed at that moment is a hug, some physical contact with someone who isn’t judging or proffering advice.  Listen with your heart and put aside what you think you know about baby loss, grief, and the grieving parent.  Meet them where they are at, not where you are at.

Please remember this . . . a baby loss parent doesn’t want you to fix them.  They aren’t broken, and there’s nothing for you to fix.  Please don’t try.  They are grieving, and that is a normal reaction to losing someone you love.

Some of the BEST things to say:

  • I’m sorry.
  • I don’t know.   Or, I don’t know what to say.
  • I love you.
  • Talk about the baby by his/her name.

I love this bit of advice from a baby loss parent – keep it simple.

Just be there.  Just listen.  Just love.

Some of the WORST things to say:

  •  Anything that starts with AT LEAST.  That little phrase negates a grieving person’s feelings no matter what you say after at least.  Strike it from your vocabulary!
  • Anything that sounds like a comparison whether it’s to your own experiences or someone else’s.  You will NOT make a baby loss parent feel better by telling them about your friend who lost a baby in what you think is a more horrific way.
  • Anything religious unless the baby loss parent is deeply religious.  Please keep your religious views to yourself.  Let the baby loss parent lead the way in this area!
  • Anything that suggests how the baby loss parent should feel.  You aren’t walking in their shoes and you really don’t have a clue how they “should” feel.  Telling them to move on or cheer up, etc. is so incredibly hurtful and not a bit helpful.

Some of the worst things to do:

  • Avoidance – either avoiding the bereaved parent or avoiding talking about the baby.
  •  Don’t ask how they’re doing if you really don’t want to hear the truth.
  • Don’t try to explain the loss or how they should be feeling.

As I mentioned before, we grieve because we love and that love doesn’t die when the baby dies.  Bereaved parents need permission to grieve.  You can offer that in such a loving way.  When grief is acknowledged and accepted, the bereaved can learn to live wholeheartedly again.  And what bereaved parents need most is compassionate community – not shame, judgment, criticism, and shunning.   They need your love and understanding.

To learn more about supporting a grieving parent, particularly a baby loss parent, please visit these resources:

Written in memory of my babies Andrew John, Mark Adam, M.J., Summer Rose, and David Gregory.  We will forever feel your presence and love you always. ♥

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A New Challenge and Gratitude Revisited

If you’ve followed my blog for the last year (or tried to – I know the postings have been sporadic), you’ve been aware of a very stressful period for my family along with my deep-seated need for gratitude. Now, 12 months since my mother’s death and 8 months since my father’s, I’m finding myself looking towards gratitude with almost a sense of desperation . . . It’s my light, here in the middle of the tunnel, where the end isn’t really in sight yet.

I am still working on closing my parents’ estate. It’s been complicated by many factors that I’ll share at another time. My husband hasn’t earned any commissions since August 2010, and my business income goes down every month. How can a business thrive with such a lack of attention? In short, my family has been caught up in a lot of STUFF that sounds rather like a bad country western song. We ALL have a lot of STUFF from time to time; I’m certainly not unique in that but it’s been a year I don’t care to repeat!

And then when I felt like I was about through that tunnel . . . I woke up one night in mid May feeling like I was having a gallbladder attack. My gallbladder had been removed 8 years ago so obviously that wasn’t the source of the problem. It was painful but I didn’t get sick and it didn’t escalate. I was that way for two weeks. Just as suddenly as it came on, I woke up one fine day with NO pain, NO bloating, and an amazing joyful attitude. I was thrilled because I had planned a little retreat for the upcoming weekend – 4 days and 3 nights on the beach at Lake Tahoe. I haven’t spent more than one night away from home in over 12 years!! Waking up that morning feeling great meant I could really jump into catching up my business work and home chores so I could go on my getaway without any guilt. Oh the cheap thrills that gave me! I started answering emails and updating content, feeling SO productive . . . and then I started to feel some pain. I ignored it and kept working. Within 30 minutes, I was in so much pain I couldn’t sit still. I asked my son to call my husband. By then, I was moaning and starting to cry. By the time my husband got home, I had one terrified son and I was screaming. It’s a good thing the hospital is only 10 minutes away from us when the lights are all green.

I had lots of tests, the doctors had lots of theories which were all disproved by the tests, the massive amounts of medication they gave me irritated my liver and made me sicker, and they sent me home three days later with no diagnosis and a prescription for heavy duty pain medication. It’s been two months, and I’m still having pain attacks followed by days of nausea and vomiting as my body works out the pain medication. It’s a vicious cycle. I haven’t been able to work very much, and that is ruining my little business of 16 years. I feel exhausted and nauseated much of the time while trying to cultivate patience with myself and those who keep nagging me to update this or do that. I’m sorry StorkNetters . . . I’m really doing the best I can and I am SO grateful to the many many of you that understand and tell me to take care of myself first! I’m a staff of one and I don’t have the funds to hire the work out so . . . it is what it is.

That’s a lot of whining and complaining, isn’t it?! And that is why, in the midst of this additional upheaval in my life that I have to remember what’s good. It would be so incredibly easy to get sucked into depression right now. I don’t need that on top of being sick.

To keep me reminded of my gratitude attitude, I decided to take this year’s November gratitude month and make it into a separate website. I had the domain name picked out and when I went back to register it two weeks later, it was taken. So what did I get? What I most need now – healing and gratitude. So sometime this fall, look for healinggratitude.com! Thinking about and working on this website will help me focus on what’s good in my life, and there are many things.

Truly, there are positive things arising from this challenge as well, and I’ll be talking about them soon. It’s an amazing learning opportunity but I won’t lie – I’d rather not go through this. The pain attacks suck the life out of me, I’ve lost 30 lbs, and not knowing when the next one is coming is scary. I’d rather be caught up with my StorkNet work, starting my creative grief coaching practice and spending time with my family this week enjoying Reno’s Hot August Nights classic car festival. But as I said before, it is what it is and I have a tentative plan as I take my health into my own hands. My business work will all get done at some point. The timing isn’t really up to me so as I cultivate patience for this, thank YOU for being patient with me.

He who knows patience knows peace. ~ a Chinese proverb

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Gratitude Month 2011 – Week 4

November is flying by and yet I feel stuck in a time warp of hospitals and nurses and delirium . . . Life sure does throw you curve balls and fast balls. It’s Thanksgiving week and I admit, writing a gratitude for each day is truly hard right now – at least thinking of a gratitude beyond my basics, namely my husband and sons. Oh, I have a lot of basics, and I know I’m blessed, but when you’re doing through a difficult situation with no end in sight, it’s so very easy to forget how blessed we are. I just want this stressful situation to be over . . . NOW. And it’s not up to me . . . it’s another lesson in letting go and letting God.

November 22 ~ Keeping My Sense of Humor

Laughter really is the best medicine and I’ve talked about it a lot in this blog. Today was so distressing that when I came home from the hospital, I told my husband that I wanted to go somewhere where people were laughing. I wanted to hear people having a good time! We took our sons and went to Applebee’s where babies were laughing and flirting with us, and everyone had a smile to share. Listening to a baby’s giggle will cure almost any melancholy! Thank you sweet babies for reminding me how sweet life can be even in the midst of chaos.

I have a list of cheesy movies I watch to get me laughing. Spending time with my sons gets me laughing. Attempting to hula hoop always sends me into hysterics because I’m SO bad. Putting on 80’s dance tunes and shaking my booty makes me laugh. And when I forget what makes me laugh, my husband or sons will always remind me. Laughter is first a physical release and then the nervous system calms down. It’s certainly my medicine of choice these days, even when I think laughter isn’t possible. 🙂

November 23 ~ Your Prayers

We’ve been so blessed since my Dad’s accident with the outpouring of prayers from friends, family, and even strangers. Even my Dad’s doctor today told me she is praying for him. I am so grateful for all of you and your support during this incredibly difficult time. Thank you!

November 24 – Thanksgiving Day – Enough to Eat

It’s Thanksgiving Day, normally my favorite holiday of the year. This year was very different without my mom, and my dad is still in the hospital. My little family of four pulled together, and we went out to eat. We had a wonderful time. Today, I’m thankful not only for my little family but that I have plenty of food to eat (way more than enough). There are too many people in this world who don’t have enough; I’m one of the lucky ones. (As a second gratitude, I didn’t have a gazillion dishes to wash after dinner!!!)

November 25 – Dad Recognized Me!

For the first time in 9 days, my dad knew who I was when I walked into his hospital room. The day went downhill from there but the psychotic delirium is over! PROGRESS!

November 26 – Quiet Day

I am so grateful for a lovely quiet day without drama, without added stress . . . a day to chat with family and curl up on the couch reading. It’s exactly what I needed.

November 27 – My Feet

Do you take your feet for granted? I do. They get me where I need to go but I really don’t consciously think about my feet. For the last 25 days, I’ve trekked across the hospital parking garage, over a long bridge from the garage to the hospital, and then through the hospital to the back end where the elevators are to my dad’s room. It’s a long haul! Multiple times a day! And my feet are getting me there without complaint. After seeing my dad’s feet strapped into boots to keep his heels from dropping, not to mention the countless people I’ve seen in wheelchairs with broken feet and even missing feet, I’m REALLY grateful that I not only have feet but feet in good condition. Sounds trite? Maybe, but life is easier with healthy feet and that’s something to be thankful for!

November 28 – My Mom

I lost my mom on July 30, 2011. We just went through our first Thanksgiving without her. Thanksgiving was a special day for the two of us. We shared my kitchen for years as we cooked and chatted the day away. I miss her so much, but as I sit in the hospital day after day with my dad, I’m glad she doesn’t have to experience this heartbreak. I’m grateful that I got to have my mom for 52 years, I’m grateful for all she taught me (however unwittingly), and I’m grateful how involved she was in my boys’ lives. They truly miss her too. Thanks Mom!

November 29 – My Health

This is another one that may sound so cliche but after spending the month in the hospital and seeing all sorts of ill and injured people, I am so grateful for my health. I’m not the healthiest person on the planet and that is mostly my own doing by not taking good enough care of myself, BUT I have the option of changing that and a lot of people don’t. This experience is teaching me not to take my health for granted and to take it into my own hands!

November 30 – A Doctor Who Gets It

Today I had a long chat with my dad’s doctor. Ironically, this doctor is the one who saw him originally in the ER after his accident. He was called in to take over his case a week ago and we saw each other today. He wanted to let me know that he hadn’t forgotten Dad but he was in a quandry over what to do next. I so appreciated him at that moment for admitting he was stumped, that he didn’t have all the answers. I asked a lot of questions as I’ve been wondering what to do next as well. He mentioned that they are trained to do everything possible to save lives but there are times when that isn’t necessarily in the patient’s best interest and he felt that’s where we were with Dad. I agreed and I’ve been worried that we were simply prolonging the inevitable. At the end of the chat, we both felt better knowing we were on the same page and could proceed with Dad’s best interests at heart. ♥

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