I have been thinking of all I am thankful for, for quite some time. And I am thankful for SO much. But I can't help but think of this time last year. I look back and I was 6 months pregnant, taking care of my father, who at the young age of 55, had severe dementia, neither of us having any clue of what was to come. All I knew and cared about at that time was that my daddy was dying. It was hard to even fathom a new little life growing inside of me.
My daddy passed away that January. Just two months shy of when his third grandbaby was born. My dad and I put up a good fight. We fought hard for his health, for his care, for who he was. After he died, it was still so hard to enjoy any pregnancy I had left. I wanted him to know this baby inside me, I wanted him to hold his grandbaby, and love him as much as he did my other two. I wanted this baby to know the awesome grandpa that he was and it tore me up to think he never would.
I'm struggling this holiday, HARD, but I know deep inside that I am most thankful for what I learned from my dad throughout my life as well as on my dad's journey and how it has helped me tremendously with my journey in raising a deaf baby.
I am thankful my dad taught me to never give up. To always give it 100 percent no matter if I was managing a whole corporation or scrubbing a bathroom floor. If it was something that needed to get done, it better be done damn well!
I am thankful for my dad telling me he loved me EVERY SINGLE DAY. EVERY TIME HE SAW ME. ALWAYS. In fact, I found this on my cell phone just a few months AFTER he passed away, and the DAY AFTER having this horrible, good for nothing bad day that every mom of a deaf baby should and can have. We deserve it. and guess what ... IT'S OKAY TO HAVE THESE!
I am thankful for the perseverance and endurance and hard headedness that my dad instilled in me (well, my mom actually had a lot to do with this too *smile*). If it wasn't for him, I would've believed it when they told me my baby wouldn't benefit from hearing aids, but "to wear them anyway". But I didn't ... because I knew we would overcome. AND WE DID ... here, and here, and here and HERE.
I am thankful for the fact that my father taught me that doing good, wasn't "good" enough. He taught me to go above and beyond. To not only be good, but to be GREAT. And because of this, I found this person, and this person, and this person to become part of our "A" team for Aiden, a team I knew had the gumption I had. They are the main reason we are where we are today (I am still in the process of writing up a HUGE thank you to our Texas team ... they are and will always be the ONES I will never forget!). AND to this day, I continue to research EVERYTHING and ANYTHING to do with deafness, and this TEAM continues to feed me!
I am thankful for my dad's laughter and sense of humor. As a kid, I remember my dad being gone a lot because of the military, but one thing I remember even more, is my dad's smile and always making people laugh. He was always the comedian ... people loved my father. Up until his last days, he would still give us all a funny look, just to make us laugh. It is so important to smile and keep faith and happiness in your heart through any hard time, it just makes it that much easier.
So thank you dad, for all you have taught me, throughout my life, but even more so, in our last year together. You trusted me and continued to love me when I hated myself for what I had to do to take care of you. You didn't give up ... just as you always taught me. You continued to have faith in me when I had no faith in myself to take the necessary steps to take care of you. You smiled at me every time I came to see you when all I wanted to do was crawl in your lap and cry ... and no matter what, you always told me you loved me and to take care of your grand babies. I am dad ... I am, and because of all you have taught me, I am thankful!