Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Thanksgiving is a good time to look back over the past year and write down all the ways God has blessed us. I've whittled my list down to an incomplete top ten, and here they are:

1. Only one week spent in the hospital this year. Oh, and the overnight stay to get Annie's VNS placed. Woo-hoo.
2. Annie's new Kidwalk. She loves to walk through the hall at school and touch the lockers. I'm not sure why they fascinate her--maybe she's trying to figure out what's inside. Or how to get inside.
3. Bill. Okay, he's probably #1 on this list, but I'm always thankful for his unselfish love and support. He is a gift from God-- and, yeah, occasional comedic relief.
4. Annie's nurse, Moira. She is simply the best.
5. Teacher Amanda. She expects a lot from her students, and patiently coaxes it out of them--all with a fun and playful attitude. She is Teacher of the Year in my book. Annie thinks she's pretty cool, too.
6. All of Annie's therapists--Michelle, Kim, Sandy, Sarah, Amy, Kathy, Claudia--so many hours working on walking, talking, eating, riding...I am grateful for each of these professionals who have contributed so much to Annie's progress this year.
6. My six kids. Their love, affection and care of Annie blesses my heart; their support helps me immensely. Their "other" lives provide a needed diversion from the medical minutia that I obsess about.
7. My new granddaughter. My heart just about turns inside out every time I spend time with this little bundle of pink. How does a ten and a half pound baby draw you so close into her orbit with just a smile and a coo? She is perfectly, entirely, and beautifully wonderful. And I am so proud of her Mommy & Daddy.
8. Friends and family who pray for Annie. You need to know that the moment your prayers leave your lips, God is at work at our house. Your prayers are the glue that holds us together.
9. Annie's progress this year. Her brain continues to knit together, making new connections each day. Let me share a little example. Annie has a cold. Thankfully, she hasn't had many colds in the last 2 1/2 years, so she hasn't had much practice coordinating sneezes, coughs, and sniffles. And you know, if you've had a cold recently, how difficult it can be to produce all this junk and not know what to do with it. Well, this morning, Annie was on the verge of upchucking it all, because that's what she knows how to do, and has had plenty of practice doing. And as she was moving in that direction, I interrupted the snowballing process and said, "Annie, swallow." So she looked at me, pursed her lips, and swallowed. Now--you may think this is not a big deal. It's a big deal. For her to understand what I said, and then follow instructions, and coordinate all her mouth and swallow movements---it's a real big deal. And just a little example of the cognitive progress she's made this year. Now, to teach her how to blow her nose into a Kleenex instead of onto her sleeve...
Okay, one more story. I have a pile of about twenty board books on the hearth beside the recliner. Annie and I sit on the recliner each day and read about ten of them. I pick up two, and ask her, "Do you want to read Hop on Pop or Are You My Mother?" Then she chooses by touching one of the books. We repeat this process until all of the books are read. Occasionally, I'll introduce a new one to her favorites, and after reading it a few times, it becomes another one of her favorites. She loves to be read to. I have a hunch that some day this will morph into being able to read herself. Or read outloud. Won't that be the coolest thing?
10. Jesus--He gives me hope that these difficulties aren't without purpose or meaning--or an end. To know that one day Annie will run and jump and laugh and talk--this gives me so much hope. I know she will, whether here or in heaven. But I hope it's here, don't you?


Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. Psalm 100:4


Anonymous said...

I do, I do I do, I do!!!!!

Thank you so much for sharing.

Love and prayers,

Terri W

Sue Powell said...

Praising God for the progress Annie has made and that she (and YOU) has such wonderful family, friends and caregivers.

uncle jeff said...



aunt rebecca said...

It's hard to stop at 10, isn't it?
In everything give thanks,
and thanks,
and thanks,

Gretchen said...

Thankful, so thankful for this family which God has allowed me to love. xxxooo.

P.S. and BTW: the progress is great! Lurve to hear especially about her swallow improving. Yay! THank you God!