Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Giving Thanks

The view from our front door.
Many see the beautiful fall colors like in the picture above and start to think about Thanksgiving and what they are thankful for. Sometimes we need to be reminded of what blessings we have in life and to be thankful for them. Kenny and I are so thankful for our Charlie and his entrance into the world this past summer and I think it reminded us both of how lucky we are. He's truly a little angel sent here from heaven.
After all of the medical "stuff" we have been through in the last 7 weeks, we have been forever reminded to be thankful for all of the blessings in our lives on a daily basis. We wanted to list some things that we have been and continue to be especially thankful for:
*Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Dr. Chandler and his amazing neurosurgery team and the wonderful nurses, especially in the NeuroICU. I can never repay these people for the wonderful care they gave to Kenny (and to me sometimes too!) and the hard work they did to help get to where he is today. We will always be thankful for the great medical community we have at Northwestern.
*Charlie's Grammy...she dropped everything to be with Charlie, to care for him (and our house) so that I could focus on Kenny and getting him better, understanding and learning about all of the medical stuff I never wanted to know about. I don't know what we would have done, had she not been retired. And Charlie's Pops for giving up Grammy while she lived at our house.
*Joan and Joe...and our sweet nieces. They welcomed me in their home so that I could be 15 minutes from Kenny in Chicago and have a nice place to sleep and relax late at night when I arrived after too many hours in a hospital. They were wonderful to sit up and listen to me talk about the day and then it was great to wake up in the morning and sometimes get to have a nice breakfast with our nieces. Having a wonderful home to go home to at night was THE BEST after those long days. And for taking care of our Charlie the few times he was in Chicago too.
*Grandma and Grandpa Friedrich and Cousin Lauren...for helping care for Charlie too. We have such a wonderful family who loves our Charlie soooo much.
*For all of the rest of our family and friends...we continue to receive amazing cards, emails, offers to help us with household tasks, babysitting for Charlie and care packages. Just as we think we are done with the food we have received, we get more. And it's so welcome! Kenny has so many restrictions, it's rough to run a house and take care of Charlie on my own, so having meals already made is wonderful and SO TASTY!!! We appreciate them so much and the extra time it gives us both to spend with each other and Charlie. All of the offers we have received and taken some of you up on are so appreciated!
*And for our coworkers in Wauconda and Lake Forest. They all continue to be so supportive of both of us with wonderful cards, phone calls and emails. The sick time donation that Kenny received brought tears to my eyes that there is such generosity in this world and that Kenny was lucky enough to receive it. My coworkers have been wonderful working with me to be back at work as much as I can be right now and helping to give me something "normal" to do as we try to adjust to life again.
*Last, I'm forever thankful for my Kenny and that he worked so hard to get through this and is still working hard to regain his strength. He is an amazing blessing in my life and this experience has reminded us both about what really matters in life. A kind of "milestone" birthday is coming up shortly for me and Kenny has expressed some concern about getting me an appropriate gift and I continue to tell him that I really don't need anything. Weeks ago, I might have had some grand idea for Kenny to get me for this birthday, but his continued good health and our sweet son is all the gift that I need.
I've mentioned before that Kenny and I feel overwhelmed sometimes with the wonderful things that have been done for us in the last few weeks and at times find it hard to express completely how thankful we are. We continued to be amazed at the sweet gestures that have been made and will continue to say thank to all of our friends and family and pay it forward to others we know that may have a need in the future and to those that we don't know. We will teach our Charlie to never take anything for granted and to Give Thanks for the blessings in life, not just once a year, but the whole year through.

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