This year, Thanksgiving falls on November 25. A year ago, November 25 marked the day before Thanksgiving, the day that I brought Mr. AOW home after he had spent ten long weeks in two hospitals and a skilled nursing facility as a result of the brain hemorrhage he suffered on September 15, 2009.
I had to move heaven and earth to get Mr. AOW released from that nursing home. And life in this household was difficult in the extreme for the next several months. If not for The Merry Widow, who came up for six weeks to help us, I think that I would have collapsed from sheer exhaustion.
Yes, Mr. AOW has made phenomenal progress. Our living room is less like a hospital room now although we still have the hospital bed and the bedside potty chair in place. Mr. AOW simply cannot get out of bed without lift assistance, nor can he make the trek to our bathroom in time. Our new normal certainly is much unlike our previous normal. The isolation problem continues for both Mr. AOW and me.
As I think back to a year ago, however, I realize that I can count many blessings, only a few of which you can find listed below:
1. Mr. AOW is no longer incontinent. No more five loads of laundry a day! And let me tell you that I simply cannot handle "heavy" diaper changes well at all. I literally don't have the stomach for it.
2. Both of us get a full night's sleep every night since August.
3. Mr. AOW can use his cell phone with consistency and accuracy. Furthermore, his speech issues have resolved.
4. Mr. AOW can travel! Provided that he has assistance, particularly with getting his affected left leg inside the vehicle, he can get into and out of the car.
5. Eating across the table from Mr. AOW is no longer a nasty experience. He has certainly learned to use his one good hand, not his dominant hand taken way by the stroke, to feed himself without slopping up the entire eating space.
6. Mr. AOW is no longer a Weeble that falls down. In fact, these past few months, Mr. AOW has almost completely regained sitting balance and is getting close to achieving perfect standing balance. Balance is a big thing! It allows for him to do his own own scrubbing in the shower once I get him in there and turn on the water.
7. Mr. AOW's thinking processes and memory skills are his original normal. For example, if I need to fix a little something on the car, he can tell me how to accomplish the task, no matter how many steps are involved.
Certainly, Mr. AOW and I were thankful last Thanksgiving when he came home after those long ten weeks. During that time and the hardest days following his return home, we learned just how much we love each other. After over three decades of marriage, we had been taking each other for granted. We take nothing for granted now.
Mr. AOW and I are even more thankful this Thanksgiving as we count our many blessings from the Lord. We await more of His blessings.
A blessed Thanksgiving to all who stop by this site. And may you count your blessings! Believe me, even during the most trying of times, we truly do have bountiful blessings.