Am I Still Thankful?


Mom and me on a Girl’s Day Out. October 2015

Last week I flew to Atlanta to celebrate my mother’s 75th birthday with her. Although we’re all still glad to have her with us, the celebration was a subdued one. My youngest sister and her family, along with my mother and my father and me, went to Olive Garden. Mom was having a good day, with no unwanted visitors in her head. She ate her birthday cheesecake with gusto, diabetes be damned.

On my left, dad was quietly downing a glass of wine. On my right, mom opened her birthday gifts. I was glad to be able to sit between my parents; this terrible, awful, no good, very bad disease that has taken my mother’s mind has stolen their marriage as well. They love like porcupines: from a distance, gingerly.

And yet a small part of me cannot help but be thankful for what my relationship with my mother has become. I am, at long last, her golden child. She is unabashedly delighted to see me every time I visit. Her letters no longer contain the critical, dissatisfied undercurrents that once characterized her missives (like a bomb squad on the alert, I was never sure which one would detonate). For the first time in my life, I have the mother of my dreams . . . while my dad and my other sisters grapple with a much harsher reality. And even as I offer up prayers for them (especially my father, who is alone at home battling pneumonia instead of traveling to his sister’s house to spend Thanksgiving), I can’t help but give thanks, even now, for the gift of a few happy days with mom.

And for a husband who encourages me to leave him with the children, and to avail myself of the joy.

And for a new boss, who understands the needs of elderly parents.

And for friends with whom we can celebrate it all.

This year, it would be easy to look over my life and find cause for worry and regret. Even so, I am thankful.

Are you?




2 thoughts on “Am I Still Thankful?

  1. Heidi: I’m glad you are able to see the silver lining, it is often difficult to enjoy silver when all the gold seems to have disappeared. I have never before felt inspired to write someone who’s blogs or emails I receive but yours touched me today. I have had two lovely Aunts suffer and die from Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s. It is very tragic to watch and yet we also were blessed to have days of great joy when they remembered the funniest things from our childhoods or incidents from long ago that we had forgotten.

    The reason I write is because a few months ago, my family and I were privileged to be included in a new product launch that at the time was not yet available to the public. It has since been released and is having good results with Alzheimer”s and Dementia. It is a supplement for the brain developed over 20 years of research at Princeton University. With your permission I will forward you some video information on it if you would like. I’m not a pushy person but was called to write you this morning. My husband and I and two of our children, age 6 and 11 all take this and have noticed it has helped with our high blood pressure and diabetes and adhd issues. It was designed for Alzheimer’s/Parkinson’s and seems to help with other auto immune or brain related issues as well. Anyway if you would like some video information links, I will send them.

    I enjoy your articles or blogs (unsure of the terminology) 🙂 One of the few I routinely make time to read. I really enjoyed the series you did last lent. Helped make my lenten journey more meaningful. Thank you.

    Hope your day and Thanksgiving are well.

    Glenda Schreiber 785-614-2400


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