Friday, November 20, 2009

"Heart" Felt Gratitude

As I sit here typing my chubby little almost 1 year old is crawling around my feet. Occasionally she looks up at me and gives me a 4 toothed grin because she just found a Cheerio on the floor from breakfast or has just stood up on her wobbly baby legs on her own and wants to show off her accomplishment. My other kids are at school-my good friends gave them rides this morning because the battery in our car was dead. My house looks like a whirl of children live here and I just got off the phone with my mom. I could here my dad in the background and our conversation was lighthearted as we talked of Christmas plans and suprises for the kids. And as I sat down to the computer my mind was flooded with the memory of what this Thanksgiving week was like one year ago.

It was Friday night. I was very pregnant and my parents had come to stay with me while my husband was out of town-just in case. The kids were in bed and the three of us plopped down in the living room to watch something on the tv. I can still see in my mind my dad standing up and saying that his arm felt funny. He left the room. My mom looked concerned and she stood up and followed him. And before I knew what was happening my parents were rushing out the door taking my dad to the emergency room. He was having a heart attack. I sat at home in the dark waiting for her to call me. When the phone rang her voice was shaky and she said that he was in surgery. I called a friend to come stay with my kids and I drove through the night to be with them. On the way I called my husband and then my brother to give them the kind of news that no one wants at 2am- dad is in the hospital, he just had a heart attack and we are not sure what is going to happen.

I found my mom in the waiting room alone. We waited together and soon we got news that the doctors had placed two stints in one of his arteries and that we could see him. Over the next few days dad had several moments where his blood pressure dropped so low that we saw the medical teams go into panic mode. He passed out in the shower at the hospital and hit his head and he looked like I had never seen him before-weak and worried. We prayed he would recover fully, we prayed that I wouldn't go into labor while he was in the hospital, we prayed that my husband would return home safely from his travels, and by the following Wednesday my dad was released from the hospital, my husband was home, and we thankfully still did not have a baby. We celebrated Thanksgiving the next day and set up our Christmas tree together.

The following Wednesday our healthy baby girl made her entrance to the world. I watched as people poured out their love for me, for my dad, and for my new little one all at the same time. I watched my parents and saw the depth of their love for each other as my mom researched everything she could do to help my dad recover and as she served him in every way that she could. I listened to my dad express his concern that mom was so tired and that she needed to get some rest and he hoped she wouldn't worry too much. I saw my dad welcome his newest grandchild in his arms. My mom and dad stayed with us for a time and when the doctors felt he was well enough to make the trip home they did. We were all exhausted, we were all amazed. We had all gained a new perspective.

Sometimes you have moments when you realize that all the little things that you take for granted could be gone without notice. Sometimes you have moments when you realize that you just can't do it on your own. But the beauty of these moments is that they are often followed by an overwhelming realization that you are not alone. During this time of year when we reflect on those things that we are grateful for I express my heart felt grattitude not only for the two gifts of life that my family was given last year but also for the assurance that even if there are times when things do not turn out as we hope they will, we will not be left to fare alone. In this crazy hustle bustle world there are still geniunly good people who love and care and there will always be a God who looks after us-what more could we ask for.

What are you thankful for?

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