Friday, November 23, 2012

True Thankfulness

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!  I meant to post on the actual day, but I slept super late and got up just in time to go to  a coworker's home for a lovely, delicious dinner.  Even though I was away from family, it was wonderful to spend a cozy holiday with new friends :-).

There is much to be thankful for this year.  I have a phenomenal family, amazing friends around the world, a rewarding and challenging career that provides me endless adventure and financial stability, two fuzzy and loving kitties, and oh so much more.  But I would be remiss if I didn't mention one of the defining events of 2012:  I am immeasurably thankful that my mother is still with me. 

I didn't blog too much about it at the time, but I came terrifyingly close to losing my mother to a brain aneurysm in January 2012.  But for luck and a world-class neurosurgeon and surgical team, things could have gone very badly.  It has been a long year of recovery for my mother, who also had a knee replacement in the weeks before the brain surgery, but she's doing phenomenally well.  The recovery has been frustrating and slow and, at times, just plain humorous, but she's back to work full time (and then some) and back to her old lifestyle (now improved with less knee pain!). 

I'm thankful that my father - who has been a rock through all of this - and I were able to lean on each other during that horrific week, when we came home every night from the hospital to an empty house, not sure what the next day would bring.  Along with my brothers, we clung to every improvement by Mom, whether it was coming out of her medically induced coma days earlier than predicted or yelling at nurses (anger is a common side effect of brain surgery, apparently) or taking her first unaided steps or coming home from the hospital.  We laughed and cried and celebrated together, and I'm not sure any of us could have done it alone.  And we didn't do it alone - our family, friends, and communities came together to support our family in incredibly touching ways.

And so, when my mother danced with my brother at his wedding this summer, to the family favorite "If I Had A Boat", I broke down (along with many others in the room) because it was something that we just weren't sure was going to happen months earlier. 

While I wish our family, and especially Mom, never had to go through this ordeal, I am thankful that we had the best possible outcome.  Not a day has gone by that I haven't felt thankful to have my family healthy and intact. 

And, in the parlance of my family's newest inside joke courtesy of a post-anesthesia/post-craniotomy haze, I am eternally thankful that the wombats weren't really out to get anyone that week.  Or any week since.

I hope you all had memorable and delicious Thanksgiving celebrations, whatever the circumstances and wherever you found yourself this year.


Nomads By Nature said...

:) A lovely post to read -- hard not to tear up just hearing about your mom dancing at your brother's wedding, or the wombat. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

Becky said...

Sending you lots of Thanksgiving and holiday wishes as well. I'm so glad you still have your mom. The dance at your brother's wedding really touched me as well.