Thursday, November 24, 2011

We Give Thanks



The more you give away, the more you have.

-author unknown-


A lovely day of preparing a big meal for my almost 96 year old Mother-in-law in her own home here in Oregon. She is almost completely housebound and walks with great difficulty with a walker in her home. Family members take her to breakfast in a wheelchair every Sunday..her only time out of the house. So, today...a great big dinner prepared ahead of time in my kitchen and the rest during the day ....but at her house so it could be easier on her.

A phone call home to my own mother in Alaska and being told by my family that my mother talks about me all the time... and absolutely remembers who I am...oh joy!...I wasn't sure if she could hang on to that between my weekly phone calls. A talk about how long we could all keep caring for her at home.... as we take turns doing as we have ..now, in her 7th year with Alzheimer's Disease.

After being told there was nothing but paid help available at $27/hr and no hospice whatsoever available in the Juneau area we were given a glimmer of hope that some money might have been made available through a grant to our local hospital to take over since Catholic Community Services lost their ability to provide help for so much need required by so many in our community. Not to even be able to ask for hospice is unbelievable to most who don't realize how different it can be in different, more isolated parts of our nation.

We had a home health care aide actually come in and give my mother a bath and change and dress her, yesterday. The first time anyone outside of our family has ever helped us. And a glimmer of hope that maybe we could get some help...we just don't know for how long or if insurance will help. But for now, for even this week, even for one day, we are grateful.

Gratitude that my sister-in-law in Eagle River is still alive after a long year of decreasing health since she was airlifted off a cruise ship to the Florida Keys last February.

After being told to expect her to die before the helicopter reached land ..all of your thoughts and prayers worked a miracle. She survived a 14 day coma and severe internal bleeding and was able to come back to Alaska in 6 weeks time. However, she still desperately needs a kidney transplant and has already been turned down by two major hospitals in both Oregon and Washington.

Tomorrow, she and my brother fly to Seattle to meet with a review committee, face a battery of tests on her, and beg for reconsideration. She has been on dialysis three times a week, 4 to 5 hrs at a time for 7 months and our bodies can only last so long with these conditions. Please send prayers for my SIL Becky, and pray that they will accept her as candidate and place her on the waiting list.

Gratitude and blessings to have both of our mothers, gratitude to still have my SIL with us in spite of everything. Gratitude to have been able to spend time today with loved ones and to be able to prepare a good meal and enjoy it, together.

Sending thoughts, prayers, and blessings out to all of you...whatever your trials, hardships and challenges. No matter how hard life can be on any given day...we all still have so very much to be grateful for!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

16 comments:

  1. Thank you for your friendship. You carry so much on your shoulders. Bless you and keep you.

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  2. You are a blessing to many! Take care of yourself as you deal with life's challenges.

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  3. My heart, thoughts, and prayers go out to you and your family, Michelle.

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  4. Happy Thanksgiving to you Michelle, my thoughts and prayers go to you and your family. Thank you for sharing x

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  5. What an amazing family you have, blessings to you.

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  6. My gratitude is having you as a friend. Raising my glass to you.

    Hugs
    xxxx

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  7. Prayers on angels' wings to those in need, and tightest of hugs to you, dear sweet Michele.
    Blessed Be

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  8. My gratitude although we celebrated our Thanksgiving in Oct. is having you as a friend too. What a wonderful list you have. Sending lots of hugs your way.

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  9. I am inspired as always. Alzheimers there and Parkinsons here and love and gratitude everywhere:)

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  10. Best wishes and prayers aloft for your SIL Becky. We all have our trials to bear, no doubt about it. The good thing is we can nearly always find something for which we are sincerely grateful. Blessings to you and yours.

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  11. Wishing you a wonderful weekend with family and other loved ones.
    May they continue to provide some support for your beloved mother.
    Sending you and yours warm thoughts for a wonderful holiday season. May the doctors find a way to help your SIL.
    Warmest regards,
    Anna

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  12. You are blessed to be a blessing. Happy Thanksgiving to you, dear Michele, and to those whom you love. Prayers abound~

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  13. You really are an extraordinary woman. Your family is so fortunate to have you in it. As always, I am in awe of all you do and think of you often. I will say prayers for your SIL and light a candle today when I am at church. The Food Pantry I run is in the basement of the church. They are having an organ recital today-Christmas music! How lovely to work while hearing Mozart. Hoping they include "Ode to Joy" Makes the heart sing and it was Roger's favorite. It'll be a year on Saturday. Seems like yesterday.

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  14. My thoughts and prayers are with you Michele. I had no idea what you are going through. It makes me aware that I certainly have no reason to complain and have a lot to be thankful for. Hugs.

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  15. An inspiring and uplifting post, Michele.

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.