Sep 11, 2012

Never Forget

I'll never forget 11 years ago today, I was running late to school; okay I was sleeping in, when my mom ran into my room to wake me up to the news that the 1st twin tower had just been hit. I jumped from my bed since I had just returned from a trip to NYC.  We were glued to the news when we watched the 2nd plane hit the 2nd tower. I felt as though I had been punched in my stomach. Tears fell from my eyes, and I knew that American was under attack.

I think that was the 1st day that I really had to grow up and be an adult.  I learned that my life could be threatened at any moment. But the most important lesson I learned that day, is that I live in the most amazing country on the face of the earth.  

In the days following I was so grateful to be an American.  To watch endless news casts as the people fought to find survivors but turned out none.  The way those firemen and policemen ran into those buildings knowing they wouldn't come out, and the men and women who raced into the army just so they could defend my freedom.  I knew I wasn't brave enough to do that.  I was so grateful, and continue to be so grateful to those brave men and women who fight for my freedom, and my rights, on a daily basis.

As I sat at the University of Utah yesterday waiting for my husband to finish taking his test, I looked up and saw the American flag swaying in the middle of presidents circle.  It was an overcast day, and so peaceful.  I grabbed my phone and actually snapped a picture of old glory to post to Facebook.  I was rushed with pride, just as I am every time I take a moment to look at old glory.

I will never forget the 1st time I truly remember being a grateful American.  I was on a trip to Gettysburg, PA and I had the opportunity to visit the place where Lincoln delivered his famous speech to the troops in the civil war.  As I stood on that sacred ground in absolute silence, again tears fell from my eyes and I quietly thanked my Father in Heaven for sending me to this great country, and giving me the opportunity to be an American Citizen.

I'm so grateful for my freedom.  I'm so grateful that I can walk down the street and not really have to be worried that I am going to be kidnapped and sold into slavery.  I'm thankful for all of the freedoms I have as a woman that so many countries don't have.  I'm grateful for my right to vote, and am proud to say that I have voted every year that I have been eligible and will continue to do so. I'm grateful for the amazing men and women we have in the military who fight on our front lines and defend our personal freedom. And last but not least, I'm thankful for the freedom that I receive from so many things just by being born in a free nation.  

I live in the greatest country in the world, and although we are still finding our feet and learning how we fit in this big world, this country is ours. It is ours to decide how we want it to be, and how we want to play a part in it. Every opportunity in the world is ours, and I'm thankful for that. I truly am proud to be an American.

Sep 9, 2012

Thank You to the Caregiver

Thank You my sweet Dave, for being my everything and more. I couldn't do this without you.
 Recently I have received so many emails, phone calls, facebook messages, and text messages from people asking for help.  People wanting support for what they are going through.  Although they may not be going through exactly what I went through, because I understand that each circumstance is different, everyone needs support.  

One of the greatest things I had while going through this process was the love of family and friends.  I had so much support, and continue to have so much.  When I think of someone that needs support, the first person I think of is my sweet Dave.  There were always people there for me to talk to, for me to lean on, and people there to cheer me up, but when Dave needed someone to lean on he didn't have anyone.  We so often forget about the caregiver and just focus on the person who needs the giving.  I wish so much that I could give a voice to the people who are the ones behind the scenes.  The person who holds your head up while your sick in the middle of the night, the person who drives the car to the ER in the middle of the night, the person who waits in the waiting room while you're having surgery, what about them?  Who is there for them when they need it?

Dave and I have spent many nights talking about what it was like for him.  What it was like to have your wife dying after a month of marriage, and not knowing what to do.  Going through things that you had never imagined you would ever go through, and not having any idea what to do about it.  The only thing he knew to do was to put on the strong face, get up and go to school, and then come home and be there for me.  Never once did my husband complain about hospital trips, or staying up through the night with me, or the endless doctor appointments.  Never did he complain about sleeping on a hospital couch and then having a full day at school, he never complained about the 2 hour trip to and from our house everyday, he didn't whine when I needed a shower and was too weak to do it myself, so he had to help me.  He has told me in years since that he cherished those moments.  Some of them were really hard, and when he felt like he just couldn't do it anymore he would fall to his knees and just beg God to not take his wife.  He would beg to just have one more day with me.  Why I was crying because I hurt, or hadn't eaten in days, and I was begging God to help me feel better, Dave was begging God to keep me around.  Still, his every thought of every day was focused on me.

I'm not saying that I didn't deserve Dave's love, because I know without it I wouldn't have survived.  I just want to take a minute to remind each of us to remember the person in the background.  The person who is the caregiver.  It's so easy to focus on the one who is saying they hurt, and forget about the other people are hurting just as much, just in a different way.  Thank your caregivers, your nurse's, doctor's, family who provides support, but doesn't ask for any in return.  Remember the people who make it bearable to live through the tough things that you go through.

I know Dave didn't have anyone but God while I was sick, and I can't thank him enough; but I hope other people in his situation won't have to go through it alone.  I hope your caregiver has someone to talk to, someone to cry to, and someone to lift them up just like they do for you.  I personally want to say thank you, to each of you who graciously give of yourself, give everything that you have, to take care of someone you love, without expecting anything in return.  My thoughts and prayers are with you, as are so many others that you will never know.  We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  Without you, people like me wouldn't be here.