Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Ten Days of Giving Thanks...Day One

I have taken this idea from Jodi, who I have never met, but who continues to be an inspiration to me daily.

(She did the 10 days leading up to Thanksgiving. I figure that giving thanks is as appropriate for Christmas as it is for Thanksgiving, so my ten days will overlap both November and December.)

Day One: I'm thankful for my healthy body.

I know, it seems cliche to be thankful for my health, but there it is. In August of 1995 I was diagnosed with MS. It was a very stressful time. I lost hair by the handfuls. I didn't even think I was finished HAVING babies, and now here I was faced with the very real possibility that I wouldn't be well enough to see my babies grown, married, going on missions, having babies of their own. At that time, 10 years seemed a long ways away; and a lot can happen in 10 years. In one moment I went from talking to my brother to not being able to see him properly. What would 10 years bring? Or twenty? Would there be more than that?

MS effected the way we thought, felt, and planned. Our plans for five or six children were instantly whittled down. We knew we were taking a risk--because why have children if they cannot have a mother?--but we got Landon here.

A couple of years later we brought Spencer's grandmother into our home. It was just six months that she was with us, but those six months were a tremendous blessing. Landon and Grandma were great buddies. I had the blessing to be allowed to help Grandma in ways that few got to (and she hated every minute of it). There was little she could do for herself. I helped with hair washing, toileting, meals, laundry, illness, and falls. I once asked her if she would fold the towels for us. It took her all day to have the energy to fold a load of laundry.

I rarely fold towels without thinking of Grandma. Of course, folding towels means that there is other laundry to fold. And dishes to do. And meals to make. And rooms to dust. And weeds to pull. And errands to run. And gifts to work on. And kids to take to practices and games and performances and play dates. And meetings to attend. And activities to plan.

Sometimes it's just all so overwhelming that I want to curl up in a ball and just cry. (Last night I took a night off and watched TWO movies. In my bed.) But as soon as I think of Grandma I remember how glad I am that 14 1/2 years after being diagnosed with a horrible, rotten disease, I am able to fold towels and wash dishes and make meals and a million (sometimes literally) other things. I'm not blind, I can walk completely unaided (and even run!), I have control over my arms and hands, I can talk and type and read, my brain and my heart and my lungs all function on their own, I can stand up without assistance and without falling down.

And our beautiful children are quickly reaching adulthood. While there are no guarantees (nobody gets them, you know), it looks promising that I will see our "babies" being missionaries, brides, grooms, parents, and maybe even grandparents. It looks promising that I will grow old with Spencer, and he will not have to care for me for the entire last half of my life. We are planning to travel and serve a mission and build a little house and laugh and love for many, many years to come!


The Vuki Family said...

You're my inspiration sister! I love you lots and lots and am grateful to have such a wonderful person apart of my life. That's you!

Amy said...

Is it OK that I'm thankful for your health too? Because I am. What if you weren't well enough to work and become my sister-friend? What if Tommy never knew about munching? It would've been a horrible thing. So, I second the motion.

Jessica said...

Oh, Aunt Aundrea. Do you know I look up to you more than almost anyone else? When we were growing up with just my dad, I always wanted to have a mom like you. Jax was lucky to spend a year with you. We both admired you and your beautiful homemaking skills and your testimony and how sweet you were. How sweet you ARE! I love you so much and how grateful I am that you have your health!