I've been off line these two weeks because my dad took a fall.
Fortunately, he's doing well - nothing broken. But it was a nasty spill. He tripped over a cement parking marker and landed full force on his head.
His glasses went flying. His arm and knee were both badly scraped. Because he takes a blood thinner, the bleeding was profuse. The initial blow caused his right eye to swell shut almost immediately.
Friends got him to the hospital quickly.
The attending physician ordered an MRI; no internal bleeding. They managed to stop the bleeding from his arm and knee. Got a strong pain killer on board. Another friend got him home and settled with an ice pack on the ballooning eye.
The next morning, Dad called me to relay the story. All the while he was assuring me that he was going to be just fine.
When I got off the phone, Frank and I immediately started making arrangements for me to drive the seven hours to be with Dad. His feigned confidence didn't fool me for a minute. Family emergencies demand that everything screech to a halt.
I spent the next four days doing my best to care for my extremely independent father. One tough assignment!
My dad lives in a very rural part of north FL. So Monday saw us driving many miles to visit his primary physician - basic report. His ophthalmologist - vision screening and new glasses. His dentist - probably a cracked tooth.
Then Monday afternoon around 4, we loaded the car for the drive back to Winter Haven. Because he still couldn't see very well it meant all the driving fell to me. And of course, it rained bucketfuls for almost 100 miles.
When I finally fell into my own bed around midnight, I was one tired little girl.
"Little girl?! You're 55 years old, Sheri!"
True. But don't we all turn back into little girls when we're around our dads?
It wasn't until the next day that I realized how often my husband says, "Thank you." And conversely, how seldom my dad says it.
A cup of coffee.
A laundered shirt.
A retrieved blanket.
All these items/actions merit a thank you from Frank. And those two simple words do so many things: affirm, encourage, acknowledge, even heal.
As I pondered the importance of such a simple courtesy in all our lives, I had the privilege of hearing a wonderful sermon on this very topic.
Martha Tennison (a powerful minister and mentor) highlighted the importance of gratitude. "In fact," she said, "God expects us to maintain attitudes of appreciation. It helps us stay humble to remember that we are all indebted to someone."
With that in mind, I wanted to simply say - THANK YOU! Thank you for taking time out to read this blog and journey along with me.
My gratitude is genuine!