Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey, gravy, and gratitude a la mode

In early November Claire came home from Miss Angie's preschool talking all about "attitude of gratitude." She told me "Mommy, if someone does something nice for you, or your friend shares a toy, you should have an attitude of gratitude."

There is so much for me to be grateful for. Sure there is the crummy ALS diagnosis and the muscle atrophy continues. My strength is down easily 50% of what it previously was. I can do many day-to-day tasks but they take so much longer to do. So we have made some changes and have a cleaning crew come in once a week. There is a high school girl who comes over twice a week after school to help out with whatever needs to be done. She is great. Our freezer downstairs is stocked with some tasty frozen dinners donated by family and friends. It has been a huge help.

I was telling Jeff how while holding a friends newborn baby my arms became tired after just a few minutes. He asked me how I felt when things like this happened. I replied that I felt a combination of frustration, sadness, and embarrassment. In college a friend was diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia. After diagnosis she was immediately admitted to the hospital and remained there until she died 3-4 months later. On one of the visits I told Trisha that I really missed her. She replied, "I miss me too." I finally get what she was talking about.

This blog is meant to be about my family: Jeff, Janae, Erik, Claire and Megan. The stories are written from my perspective so there are a few ALS updates but not many. If you are interested in how ALS affects a person in a day-to-day and month-to-month way I would recommend the book, "I Remember Running: The Year I Got Everything I Wanted - and ALS" by Darcy Wakefield and Jonathon Eig. This woman was diagnosed when she was 34. She is honest in her writing about what is happening to her body in a very non-whiny way. She just calls it like she sees it. The book is a quick but insightful read. The disease hasn't progressed quite as far with me as it did her at her time of writing.

Back to Claire's "attitude of gratitude." Because really, my attitude is the only thing I feel like I can control in this crazy situation. I'm grateful for Jeff, Erik, Claire and Megan. I'm grateful for the support and prayers of family and friends. I'm grateful for knowledge and teachings that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and has a plan for each of us. I'm grateful for the scriptures. Prayer is when we talk to God and when we read the scriptures is just one of the times when God can speak to us. I'm also grateful for the health that I still have. I'm grateful for this great big wonderfully gorgeous world of ours and that I can still get out and be amazed by it. And of course I am grateful for my always funny funny friends (blog ref.).