Gifts of Gratitude

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Looking back in 2014’s rear view mirror, my life reflects powerful, yet necessary, growth accompanied at times with restless stagnancy. Whether I’m powering forward or in a short holding pattern, there is a formidable common thread: GRATITUDE . My heart is so appreciative for small miracles which strengthen my body daily, and for the people God has put in my life to allow my body, mind, and spirit to fully heal.

Gratitude begins with medical doctors who indicated that diet and exercise would have inconclusive benefits for me since this correlation had never been proven in an MD clinical trial. Their skepticism fuels me to prove them wrong!

From a holistic perspective, abounding gratitude shines on Dr. Cris, my chiropractor, who not only realigns my body on a bi-weekly basis, but is a spark of inspiration and motivation all rolled into one. Dual appreciation extends to my trainer, Bob, who keeps those adjustments in place by guiding me in proper muscle building techniques with continued encouragement as only a dear friend can!

Of all the people whom I am indebted to, my parents, Dave and Mary Ann are two people I will never be able to properly thank, or repay. They have always been exceptional, but my return home has been no easy task. Their retirement short lived. My mom and dad have allowed me a worry free transition, from my life as we all knew it, in order to focus on my health. Unconditional love has given me time to heal guilt free. None of us would have dreamed it would have taken this long! As an adult living with my parents, I have the privilege to view them less through the lense of a child, and blessed to focus on and appreciate them more as friends.
And, occasionally, when we don’t always see eye to eye, it fills my heart knowing that there are two people who will unequivocally provide a soft place for me to land.

Unexpected gifts have blossomed out of this experience, helping me know my mom and dad in a more intimate way. Stories from their past randomly flow in their daily conversations. Some of them I could repeat like a well-worn record, others surprisingly heard for the first time. All of them cherished. My brain feverishly tries to soak them up like a sponge in order to preserve these precious memories.

Selflessly, my dad has taken the title of chauffeur after I was unable to pass the eye test, reluctantly relinquishing my liscence to DPS, after thirty years of driving.
Reliable transportation provided by my father to my chiropractic appointments played a major role in my recovery. He has spent countless hours patiently waiting for me so that I can do my “thing”. Above and beyond that, he is Mr. Fix It. A problem solver by heart ever since I can remember, he has always created and adapted devices which make my life easier. I could not be more grateful!

From the beginning, my mom is the one who’s been in the trenches with me, day in and day out. She’s wiped my tears, and shed them for me. Sleepless, agonizing nights meant no rest for the both of us. So many acts of service wrapped in kindness and empathy, all too numerous to mention. They say that you can’t teach old dogs new tricks…no, I’m not comparing my dear mother to a dog! But, at an age where she was comfortable and confident in her routines, she was willing to change. Coming from generations of outstanding german cooks, decadent meals were the standard. Each meal tasting like a little piece of heaven. She has transitioned from a do what tastes good, non-calorie counting cook to an avid reader of nutrition labels and a health conscious connoisseur. Precise weighing and measuring of ingredients had never been in her wheelhouse. She has put an extreme effort into learning a whole new way of preparing delicious, yet healty meals, all for my benefit. I couldn’t be prouder! No matter what the task, she always puts me, and her family first. A demonstration of unconditional love at its highest power!

Dinner with four grade school girlfriends the other night lead me to a new realization and appreciation. All of their dads are no longer with us. My father was the only one still living. Eternally grateful that God has blessed me with healthy parents, I am honored and privileged to know them on a deeper level while enjoying their company during my extended and unexpected stay.
Although my restlessness may get the best of me at times, for now, I am right where I need to be.

Many sacrifices have been made by others to help me regain my strength and independence. I pray that in 2015, God will bless me with bigger dreams than I could dream for myself. The best way for me to thank them is to strive for those dreams to come into fruition.