I am so grateful for my father

father-daughter

I don’t know about you, but I count my blessings every day. Not the whole list of blessings, as I would be listing for a long, long time. In reality, each day I think of a good number of them and it awakens in me a profound sense of gratitude. And I remember from whom my blessings come and remember to say the two most important words in language – Thank you. (The three most important words are I love you.) Being grateful gives you a sense of refinement that can come in no other way, according to Marjorie Pay Hinckley. I believe her. But here we are in November, the official month of thanksgiving which culminates in a Thanksgiving feast. It seems like as the holiday season begins, and I include Thanksgiving  as the start of the celebration, people are reminded of their blessings and are willing to remember to be grateful, just a little more. And with this month, people also seem to be a bit more willing to express their gratitude.

There are things we just expect because they are always there and we seem to take for granted, like our eyesight, our hearing, waking up in the morning, or getting a paycheck every other Friday, warm blankets, refrigerators, and phones. But if you really think about it, things and circumstances can change anytime. Being grateful should be a constant thing. Being grateful is good for the spirit and the body scientifically speaking.

So I want everyone to know that I have been blessed to have an awesome father. He has always been there for us even though he worked three jobs. He took care of us and loved us no matter what. Oh, he would be disappointed, but the love never stopped. I am grateful for the things he provided and the house he gave us to live in. My dad one year for Christmas built me a small skating rink in our back yard because I had asked for ice skates from Santa one year. On Christmas Eve, my dad was working in the cold Pennsylvania snowy night building me a rink so it would be ready in the morning. That is going the extra mile. I sure was happy as Santa Claus did bring me my skates and I got to ice skate on Christmas Day. How do you thank someone for that?

Please don’t get me wrong. I have the best mother ever in the world, I am telling everyone about my awesome father because he is 92 and doesn’t have much time left on this earth. I went to visit him yesterday at the Veteran’s Home where he has been a resident. When I saw him I thought to myself, there isn’t much left of him. This is a big change. He is weak and can’t eat solid food anymore. His mouth hangs open. He was able to drink from a straw. I was blessed that he recognized me, gave me half a smile, and said my name. He couldn’t say much else. He struggled to talk but unrecognizable guttural sounds came out. He thought I had left him when I was sitting right there. He has a rattling cough now that turns him red in the face. He keeps picking at his sheets, but is unable to clasp his hand to pull up the sheets.

I have known this day would come sometime. I have been a hospice nurse. Being a hospice nurse at one point in my career taught me to recognize the signs of decline, but it didn’t help me handle the fact that my dad is no longer the vibrant, funny man he was. I will tell you I will treasure his few words that were coherent forever. He called me by name and told me not to give up on him yet. I assured him I wouldn’t. Then he was able to sing the line from one of the songs he used to sing often. There is no amount of money anyone could give me that would be a better blessing than that.

Count your blessings. Don’t take anything for granted. If you haven’t told a loved one lately that you do care, do so soon. You both will be glad you did.

Enjoy  this Holiday Season!
Remember to Be Thankful!
Blog You Later!

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