Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Day - November 22, 2007


Thinking back on this past year, I can honestly say that Richard and I have quite a lot to be thankful for. First, we have each other to lean on to get through the rough spots but we also share our joys large and small. Life is so much better when you have someone you love to share it with. We are also very thankful for our family and friends who have been there for us this past year. It would have been so much harder to go through Mack's recovery and Mom's illnesses without your support. And of course we are very thankful for Mack's guardian angels (the staff at Trinity Mission Convelescent Center of Farmville and the staff at Healthsouth in Petersburg) who have been taking care of him. Mack's recovery has been astounding over the past 16 months, but it has been particularly miraculous over the past 6 weeks, since he has been at Healthsouth.

This morning Mack was in his usual daily physical therapy session at Healthsouth. They gave him a cut out maple leaf to color or write on. After attempting to color the edge of the leaf, they asked him what he was thankful for and he wrote "DAD" on the leaf. You can imagine how that made Richard feel when the nurses gave him the leaf and told him the story. Richard came home this afternoon still pretty emotional, but very happy. When he told me the story, I had the same reaction and I told him that if he had any doubt about how Mack felt about him, this erased the doubt.

Richard picked Mack up from Healthsouth today and brought him home for Thanksgiving dinner. Mawmaw was here too. We had turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, a sweet potato/pineapple casserole topped with toasted marshmallows, collard greens and kale, cranberry sauce, winter veg. mix; tea and Mawmaws pumpkin cheesecake. Mack ate a little bit of turkey, mashed potatoes, and sweet potato casserole and a lot of the broccoli. He didn't eat as much as we hoped he might, but he did eat. His aunt Carol Sue and uncle Kevin came by to visit with him for a while. Richard pushed Mack's wheelchair up to the piano and asked him to play something and he began to play the keys at random trying to pick out a melody that he was familiar with. Then, Richard started playing some of the familiar songs that he and Mack used to play together and Mack started playing, trying to join in like he used to. I asked Mack to play chopsticks and he began to play the beginning 3-4 chords of it without being prompted further or shown how to do it. That was amazing! We were all overjoyed seeing him responding to the keyboard that way. I have a feeling that he will play again soon.
Since Mack has been at Healthsouth, he has learned to pull himself along the wall rail in his wheelchair with his right hand. He also shuffles his right foot and pulls himself along. This past week, Mack told Richard twice that he needed to go to the bathroom, which he has never done before. He has learned to catch the nerf football and he also throws it back, which is new. His left arm and leg are much more moblie than they were when he came to Healthsouth six weeks ago. He talks more to everyone now, but still has times when he is tired and shakes his head yes or no. Shevon has even gotten him to do a little dance with her and spiderman. Last Sunday Mack had taken Magic, put his hand inside, bounced him around as though he was jumping and made Magic's mouth move quite a few times because Mack wanted to make me laugh. Mack also brushes his teeth on his own once Richard gets him started and he has also shaved himself with the electric razor. He actually did a fairly good job of it. Oh, Mack also waves goodbye now and gives good hugs without biting. That is quite an impressive list of accomplishments for Mack in six weeks. We hope and pray that he will continue to progress as he has been for the past few weeks. We want to give a huge thank you to the staff at Healthsouth for everything they have done for Mack, and for the kindness and patience they've shown to us and other members of his family.
Count your blessings daily. Say "I love you" to those you love each day. Have a kind word for a neighbor or friend when you see them. See the good that people do and let them know you appreciate their efforts. Take good care of your pets and love them.
Happy Thanksgiving,
Ruth & Richard


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