Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Strawberries


First off-- Thank you  for your kind words on yesterday's post.  It was an emotional post, and I appreciate the love I felt from all of you.  I also am thankful that you continue to stick with me as I write about my mom.  It is a big help as I am still grieving her loss.

Speaking of my mom, did you know that during her last six months on this earth she could not eat or drink anything?  She could swish water or juice around in her mouth, but had to spit it out.  Her nutrition came in the form of a liquid that was fed through a tube directly into her stomach.  The doctors did not want her to aspirate anything that could exacerbate her pneumonia-damaged lungs.  Because of this, she struggled with extreme dry mouth.  This made it hard to talk sometimes.  And I'm sure it was both uncomfortable and frustrating.  I can't imagine going that long without tasting some of my favorite foods.

She would joke about wishing the nurses could inject Mexican food from her favorite restaurant into her feeding tube, but in all honesty she didn't complain about the situation at all.  She did tell me once, though, that she dreamed about eating strawberries again.  It was a common dream, and she couldn't wait until she could eat them one day.  I was telling a friend about my mom's longing for strawberries, and my sweet friend suggested that while my mom couldn't eat strawberries right now, my kids could be like strawberries to her soul--sweet and satisfying and good.  I told my mom about the analogy and she loved it.  From then on, anything "sweet" in the midst of her physical struggle became a "strawberry" to her.

I've been struggling a bit lately.  Struggling with her loss, missing her deeply, and with change going on in my family.  The best way I've learned to turn a pity-party around is to stop and give thanks.  A thankful heart has no room for ungratefulness.  So here's my list of "strawberries" at the moment.  I know I have enough to fill up an entire basket.
1. Healthy children--all three are happy and healthy and thriving.
2. A wonderful, supportive, hard-working husband who happens to be my best friend.
3. A comfortable, warm home.
4. Friends that never cease to brighten my day.
5. A closet full of clothes-- why do I ever complain?
6. The ability to live and move and exercise this one body I've been given.
7. A bookshelf full of books to both challenge and entertain me.
8. Chocolate chip banana bread.  Made it yesterday-- 'nuff said. :)
9. Hearing Leah read to herself each night.  She is finally picking up books and reading for her own enjoyment!
10. Watching Lucas chase after his sisters, and the excitement on his face when they get off the bus each afternoon.
11. Seeing Hannah spend time drawing and creating and proudly displaying what she has done.
12. Thirty-four years of wonderful memories (almost 35-- on Friday!)
  13. God who loves me unconditionally, and speaks to me through His Word to encourage and comfort and strengthen my inmost being.  

 I could go on, but I'll stop there.  I feel better already!

What are some "strawberries" in your life right now? 

2 comments:

Susan said...

Another beautiful post, Emily. I bet I will think of your mother when I eat strawberries now!

And remember, some of the changes in families that seem the most stressful, maybe even unbearable, can turn out to be healing blessings in time.

Maria Rose said...

Great post. I think it is amazing that you are sharing this process with the world. I completely admire it.