A mere 12 months ago, and yet it seems like years...
So much has changed since we gathered together at my sister Barb's house in Bloomington for our traditional House family Thanksgiving celebration last November.
I think as we were planning this a year ago, somehow God let us know that it might very well be our last "normal" Thanksgiving with Mama. Maria and Mark and their families made an extra effort to travel to Indiana from Florida and Texas, and their children sacrificed time with friends to be with us. I know we're all so THANKFUL now that we listened to that nudge from God and made sure we had this memory.
Mama, ever our precious matriarch, was cold that day and Mark put his Navy scarf around her neck. She wore it all day, in every photo.
We had no idea that just 4 months after this photo was snapped Mama would begin a physical and mental nosedive that still has us all stunned. Since the end of March, she has had 10...TEN...significant falls resulting in 8 fractures in both arm/shoulders, both hips, and just this week her pelvis, as well as several cuts, huge bruisings, and abrasions. None of us had any inkling that she would have 2 orthopedic surgeries and 2 several-day hospital stays during the worst (and hopefully the LAST) pandemic of our lifetimes. As Mama's physical falls accumulated, her mental status tumbled too, a little lower each time, never quite bouncing back to where it was before. Her rapid decline has been one of the saddest and scariest things I've ever witnessed.
But here we are, one year later, on Thanksgiving Day and despite the craziness 2020 has thrown at us, we continue to have so many things to be THANKFUL for!
*Our FANTASTIC family...I am so grateful for my 3 siblings and their families and our love and respect for each other
*That Mama is content and at peace in her new home and is getting good care by caregivers who have come to love her
*Through all of her tumbles and injuries, Mama is STILL SMILING! She has been wonderfully appreciative and cooperative and classy despite the circumstances.
*Two of my nephews in this photo graduated from high school and are moving on to bigger and better things in their lives
*Our extended family has been able to weather the pandemic...despite a few quarantines and economic struggles, everyone still has a job, a roof over their heads, and food on the table
*We have been blessed with good health and strong bodies...not a blessing we will ever take for granted!
*We were able to close on Mama's house on March 30, just as the pandemic was ramping up and just a day before Mama's first tragic tumble which set off the domino effect we are still dealing with
*We are getting very close (especially thanks to Barb's tenacious handling of the situation!) to tying up the loose ends of a contract sale of some property that has been a thorn in Mama and Dad's lives for 40 years...praise God!
*That Dad and Mama were frugal and worked hard to save money so at least we don't have a financial burden in order to be sure Mama has the best of care in a nice facility
*But more than anything else, we are THANKFUL for God's gift to the world through his Son and our Savior JESUS!!! We can look past the temporal worries of this world and know that a much better Home awaits us when our time here on earth is up.
So although we will all be celebrating our Thanksgiving Day on our own this year instead of being all together, we are THANKFUL that God gave us Thanksgiving 2019!
What a difference a year makes.