What a difference a week can make.
Last week my Dad was in the hospital. He had the flu, they put him in ICU 2, he was there for three days. They moved him out of ICU. They did a chest x-ray to see if he had pneumonia. I heard nothing for two days, and then he was coming home.
In the meantime, I was panicking, figuring out what to do if he did pass, and working with my brother to clean his little senior efficiency apartment. Which is no small feat, considering he’s a chain smoker and the last time the walls were cleaned was 4 years ago.
I did not expect thanks. I’ve learned a long time ago that “Thank you” are not words my father gives out easily. It’s not that he doesn’t feel gratitude, it is more that it’s hard for him to express gratitude.
I am often challenged with an inability to express gratitude. Sometimes the gift is so overwhelming that I don’t have adequate words to express just how deeply grateful I am.
I am grateful, first and foremost, to my husband Eric. He has seen just about every shade of crazy I have, and still, he stands beside me. Through fear, and pain, and loss, he’s been there for almost 19 years now.
I’m grateful to my friends, who have stood beside me on the journey I started almost four years ago. The folks who loved me when I couldn’t love myself, and who helped walk me back from the brink of madness and despair. One of those friends is the person who encouraged me to share these little stories with the rest of the world if they wanted to hear them.
I’m grateful to Gerald and Peggy, for raising such a good, good man. I’m also grateful to Tanya and Jay, for putting up with my crazy the times they’ve had to deal with it.
I’m grateful to Justin, for teaching me how to love unconditionally. I never really understood that until you came into my life.
I’m grateful for being able to take a joke, even if it’s just for today. I’m grateful that I was able to be teased a little and not react to it with flames and indignation. (Thanks, Rick!)
I’m grateful that I know that when my Dad picks on me for not putting his pictures back where they were, or tells me there was no point in cleaning his place because they would just do that when he dies anyway, he’s just saying “Thank You” in the language that he understands. (I know because he was smiling when he said it.)
Mostly, today I’m grateful that I didn’t have to make final arrangements for one of my parents this week. I’m grateful for a little more time to be teased by my Dad for being so serious. I’m grateful for another week that my Mom asks me for yarn.