Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Wave of Gratitude

A special thanks to my husband for this beautiful post.

This season is very special in our family for a number of reasons. We look forward to time off work, to being together, to play in the snow. It is a very special time when we give thanks for the incredible gifts that the year has offered each of us. We can’t help but feel incredibly blessed.

Today, I was made aware of a special blessing. A year ago, my youngest son looked at me and assured me that he was ready to step out of his wheelchair and go to school on his own two feet. While he walked with a noticeable limp, he has yet to sit in that wheelchair again. It has been an amazing journey to be an eyewitness to his progress.

Flashback to Christmas 2013, two years ago. Caeleb was in the hospital struggling through a very difficult bleed. While it was awful to sit in a hospital room during the holiday, I am very grateful for my wife for making it a holiday to remember; complete with a tree (it was tiny), a projector to watch our holiday favorites, and presents from Santa. The goal was to preserve and celebrate our family traditions, in spite of where we might be.

All of these memories hit me as I took my son to the Carrie Tingley Rehabilitation Hospital to begin physical therapy. We had not done physical therapy in a year. This time would be different. There are no longer issues regarding how much weight he could put on his leg; we would truly be developing muscles that had suffered as a result of being in a wheelchair. This was a different ball game.

When I took Caeleb into the facility, I was overcome with emotions. I remembered that the last time that I brought him into the building, he was in a wheelchair. What a difference a year makes. He and I practically ran into the center as we played one of those daddy and son racing games. We play those well.

As a wall of emotions seemed to pour over me, I saw our physical therapist. To my surprise, I started to break down in tears at her reaction to Caeleb’ s progress. The impossible truly became the possible. My son, once confined to a wheelchair, walked without any assistance. I took this moment as a miracle.

This Christmas, I really didn’t need a present under a tree, because the gift of gratitude was so incredibly powerful that I wanted for nothing. I could only respond over and over again how blessed my family is this year. We are all healthy. We all slept in our beds without hospital monitors beeping in the middle of the night. My son went outside and played in the snow.

This is what I know, the situation in which we currently find ourselves can change at the drop of a hat. What matters is what we share in the moment, knowing that with each passing day life can change on a dime. This year, I am grateful for Caeleb’s health. Last year, I was grateful that we left the wheelchair. The year before that, I was grateful for being together, even in the worst of circumstances; and the year before that I was grateful…
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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I Wonder...

Yesterday was WorldAIDS Day.  It is a day set apart to remember those who are living with HIV.

Every time I read that statistic my heart hurts for all of the people affected…the individuals that passed away and their loved ones.

My brother was born in 1962.  When the AIDS epidemic hit the hemophilia population he would have been about 18 years old.  I often wonder what his life would have been like.

Would he have been infected and already passed away?
Would he have been infected and still be here?
If he was still here, would he have been an active member of the bleeding disorder community?
What would he have taught my sons?
How would my parents have handled it all?

There are so many questions I have.  At the top of my list would be a question to my mom…"Why didn't you tell me?"

I don't think it would have mattered if I had known about hemophilia or not because I wanted to have children.  It may have been best that I didn't know so that I wasn't afraid of what "might" happen.  I enjoyed being pregnant with both of my sons.

All I can say is that I am a blessed woman to have two amazing sons.  And I am filled with gratitude that their factor products were not compromised. 

And for those who were victim to the tainted blood supply…my heart will always be with you.

I will never forget.

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