Tag Archives: blessed

Bonus Time

12 Aug

June 27th I was sitting in the hospital with my dad who had been admitted days before, while my sister was taking my mom to the emergency room as she was not feeling right.  What we assumed would be a quick trip turned into a wild & scary ride! Hold onto your seats.

I will never forget entering her room in the critical care unit for the first time and seeing her hooked up to all these wires and monitors with a tube down her throat.  I don’t do hospital’s well to begin with so seeing my mom like this was rough.  I observed from a few feet away at first, I had been told she could likely hear us and know we were there and I wanted to get myself together so I didn’t reveal to her how I was feeling inside at that moment.  It took me a bit to compose myself, I approached the bed, rubbed her hand and said, “Hi Mama”.  That was all I could do before my throat started to constrict and tears came.  In another 10 minutes, I tried again, “Hey Mama, it’s me Denise, I’m here” and I was done again.  A few more deep breaths and I made another approach, “Hey Mama, it’s Denise, you’re in the hospital and they’re taking really good care of you, all of your family has been here, Dad’s feeling better and we all sure love you.”  That was all I could do before my voice starting to give me away again.  I worked my way up to scooting a chair by her bedside, holding her hand and singing some of her favorites to her.  Cherished time with my mom.

The roller coaster ride continued day-to-day, hopes were dashed as the Doctor talked with my sis-n-love and I about the seriousness of mom’s condition and prognosis.  We cried, we prayed, others prayed and we continued to take turns sitting by mom’s side telling her how loved she was.  Mom would start to get a little restless as sedation would wear off and I was so concerned that she would become uncomfortable or frightened.  So, I was getting the nurse when mom opened her pretty blues and made direct eye contact with me.  I gave myself a split second pep talk so I’d appear calm, looked her in the eyes and said “I love you mama” and she mouthed back “I love you”.  It was the best I love you ever!

Getting my mom off the ventilator was not a smooth process, paddles were used on her chest 3x the day her tube was taken out to get her heart beating in rhythm.  How thrilling it was to walk into her hospital room after she was taken off the vent and see her alert and able to talk with us, even if her voice did have a new gravelly sound to it thanks to the whole ordeal.  Sadly, our celebration quickly turned to concern as she was not sustaining acceptable oxygen levels on her own.  Emotional rollercoaster.

The ride takes another twist later that day when the doctor talks with mom about the seriousness of her condition and that if she is not able to sustain proper oxygen levels on her own very soon, they may have to put her back on the ventilator.  If she goes back on the ventilator, there is less than 10% chance she’ll ever come off of it.  Tough news to process.

Doc came back on evening rounds and all 3 of us kiddos were there with mom so we could ask questions and have  a beyond difficult conversation.  The doctor was wonderful, informative, compassionate but it was hard, it stunk and none of us liked what we were being forced to deal with.  After the doc left the 3 of us stood around mom’s hospital bed and we asked mom about her life, if she was content and happy, if she had any questions for us, we reminded her how much we loved her and want her to stay with us and we made some tough decisions together, we tried to be strong and supportive but a few tears escaped anyway.  After all the talk, mom asks the 3 of us, “are you guys ok?”  There was a brief pause and then my brother took the lead with the honest answer and said, “No we’re not ok, this stinks, but we are ok with having you as our mom.”  Sweetness in the midst of pain.

The crazy ride continued, she was eventually released from critical care to another floor and just when we thought she was about to move into a nursing facility to gain some more strength, she was back in critical care with pneumonia.  Mom has been home now for almost three weeks and I’d say we’re still in the midst of a new adventure.  Thankful though for the opportunity.

My brother said in the hospital when things started looking up, “I think we got some bonus time with mom”.  I know many people wish they could have some bonus time with their loved one, so this blessing of more time together is something we want to cherish deeply, even when it’s hard and the ride feels a bit bumpy.

I reflect on the wild ride we’ve been on the past several weeks because today is my beautiful mom’s 65th birthday!  Only a month ago, as I was driving home from the hospital, I was literally crying out to God and begging Him to make a way that she could stay here with us longer.  Thankful that God answered that prayer and the prayers of family near and far, the prayers of church family and friends from all over.  So today, we’ve taken the day off work to celebrate a wonderful woman, whom we are blessed to call “mom” and soak up some of our “bonus time” with her.

Mom, on your birthday and every day, I want you to know and be confident in this, you are deeply LOVED and love NEVER fails!!!

 

 

 

 

I’m Rich!!

24 Nov

I guess you would have to buy a lotto ticket to win millions. I’ve never bought one, but I’ve had some fun thinking about what I would do with my winnings! It’s amazing how we can always come up with something that we “need” 🙂

Truth be told as a middle class American I am richer than 99% of the planet’s population and yet at times, I am not content with what I have, I am thinking of the new furniture I’d like to have or that handbag that is calling my name.  It is so easy for me to get consumed with “stuff” and it’s so stupid, cause you and I both know, “stuff” doesn’t matter, it doesn’t last, it doesn’t even bring true happiness, in most cases “stuff” just leaves you wanting some more “stuff”!

When I pause, to consider what is really valuable in this life, it’s not my “stuff” as great as it may be, it is people and it’s relationship.  It is time spent with them, it is laughter and tears shared together, it’s an honest conversation and an encouraging word.  It is the little moments that are the most big.  It is hugs and talks.

In this journey of life God has provided for me tremendous people who enrich my life and bless me in countless ways, people who love me, despite the fact that I’m so flawed,  people who support me, tell me the truth, challenge me and believe in me.  As I sit here on Thanksgiving morning, I am amazed as I think of those that God has put in my life over the years that have surrounded me with love, support and encouragement and as I see their faces in my mind, I am overwhelmed with gratitude and realize anew, I am one rich girl!!

I pray this Thanksgiving, you take a moment to give thanks to God for all he has blessed you with and more importantly for who he has blessed you with and that you would realize in a deeper way how truly wealthy you are!!  Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours!

Learning To Count

17 Oct

I remember my dad saying to me multiple times growing up, “no child of mine is going to be an ingrate”! Is that even a word? Either way, I knew exactly what he meant and I knew that he also meant my attitude needed some adjusting and a little thanks and gratitude were in order. I would love to say that I now have this lesson down pat, but I regret to say, I still suffer from a less than pleasing attitude from time to time.

When the circumstances of life are tough and things aren’t going my way, or the right way, or the fair way, the way they should, you can see where this is going, what is the first thing I do?  Give thanks, Ohhhh, how I wish, but usually, I respond with things such as; worrying, complaining, doubting, possibly even throw an all out fit (very adult of me I know).

When these attitudes rear their ugly little heads, I need to learn to exercise my counting skills and begin to list off my many blessings.  As I begin to count…

#1 – God is on my team & loves me with an everlasting love (That’s good news people)!

#2 – I have wonderful family and friends that love and support me.

#3 – I have my health and many are suffering.

#4 – I have a job that allows me to pay my bills and many are unemployed and struggling day to day.

#5 – I have a roof over my head, food in my cupboards & a comfortable bed to sleep in and many are out in the cold with no place to call “home”.

and on and on my list goes….

And all of a sudden, my attitude has been adjusted and proper perspective is restored and I am grateful.  When I count my blessings, it brings peaceful perspective that allows me to weather the storms this life is sure to bring.  Lord, help me be quick to count because no child of your’s should be an “ingrate”.