So, I titled this blog "A December to Remember", but we're going to be remembering this December for a variety of reasons- I'll start with the reasons that make my heart heavy first.
On Sunday, December 20th, my dad had a stroke. The stroke has taken the man that I've known for 33 years and transformed him. There are many daily struggles he faces, many things we've always taken for granted that he's now trying to figure out- like eating with the "wrong" hand and walking and reading a newspaper. The doctors say he's a great candidate for therapy and Dad has been working hard; we've seen him improve and make great strides.
In the midst of our upheaval surrounding my dad, our family was dealt another blow. My grandmother, my Mom's mom, suffered a massive stroke on Christmas Eve and went home to be with the Lord on Christmas day. My family was shocked and grief stricken and my mother- I still don't know how my mother held herself together. We traveled to Oklahoma to celebrate my Mama Reba's life. Her house was full of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren and amid the tears their was lots of laughter- I know that she would've enjoyed the laughter. I feel so blessed that my children got to know her and she got to know them, and I know that Mama Reba loved Harper and Jack. The last time we saw her (I wish I had taken more pictures), she thanked me for sharing my children with her. I am thankful my children will have pictures and precious memories of a wonderful woman who taught me so much about how to live a graceful life.
To say that December was an emotional roller coaster would be an extreme understatement. I don't know how we made it through the last month, but somehow we did. Our month wasn't all sorrow filled; we had plenty of reasons to smile and things to celebrate- let me give you a run down of things that we're thankful for that have kept us hopeful...
2. We are thankful for warm days in December and parks to play and run. We took advantage of some outside time to go for walks, and play at the park down the street. These two had Tony and I laughing- I can't get enough of them playing together. We also got to take the kids to the "big" park right after Christmas and we got to explore the whole thing- not just the toddler area. The kids had a great time going down the great big slides and swinging on the swings.
5. We are thankful for lazy days and pajamas and vegging out in front of the tv- we had plenty of those moments when the kids got sick (with strep throat and non-stop coughing). The illnesses forced us to slow down a little bit and forced all of us to take some time to get much needed rest.
7. We are thankful for family. Papa came up for Christmas and was such a big help. Prayers poured in from family members and everyone stepped up to help with Dad, travel to Oklahoma, and offer support. Family also kept us laughing, kept our chins up, and kept us moving forward.