You haven't heard from me for a while, and I thought it was time for a little update.
December 25th will be exactly six months since my husband had a major stroke.
It has been a difficult and challenging time, but we are very lucky. John spent two months in the hospital and rehabilitation centre, and he had two goals. He wanted to walk the beaches again with me and our dogs. And he wanted to be able to walk the dogs on leash by himself. He achieved both those goals!
There will be more challenges to overcome, but things are looking a lot brighter these days.
No matter how you celebrate the season, I hope there are moments of joy and happiness for you.
Here's to wishes coming true in 2018!
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
|A photograph taken on an outing to Miner’s Marsh in Kentville shows how one minute you’re swimming along enjoying life, and in a split second catastrophe can strike.|
I was photographing some birds at the Miner's Marsh in Kentville a while back, and had my camera trained on a black bird walking along the water's edge. In a flash that must have been just a split second, the bird reached into the water and grabbed a small fish. It happened so quickly that I missed the action while looking through my camera lens, and only captured the result - the bird with the fish in it's beak. One minute you're swimming along enjoying life, and in a split second catastrophe can strike.
Maybe it's a cancer diagnosis, or a car accident, or a death in the family. There are endless situations that can pack a wallop that drops us to our knees when we least expect it.
A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting on the swing of our backyard deck and thinking about how lucky I was. I often think about how lucky I am, so that's no big surprise. However, that particular week was not one of my best. I was alone on the swing with only my dogs for company while my husband was in the hospital after surviving a major stroke. At that particular moment, I was feeling lucky and blessed because just a few days before he was completely paralyzed on the left side of his body. But a couple of days can make a huge difference, and after his brain recovered from the shock he became more and more mobile.
While I was sitting on that swing and trying to process all the changes, I was contemplating life with some new challenges instead of facing a future with a completely dependent person. And that's why I felt fortunate instead of filled with despair.
I am no stranger to strokes and the devastation they can cause. My father had a severe stroke when I was just 21. He was told he would never walk again, but he worked hard and was released from the hospital after one year. He lived a fulfilled life for another 16 years and accomplished many wonderful things.
In a very broad generalization that I am prone to concluding now and then, I have noticed that there tends to be two types of people. We've all heard of the "glass half full" versus "glass half empty" example of how different people can be presented with the same situation and come away with totally a different perception of things. I truly believe that attitude can make a huge difference.
Don't get me wrong. Since that awful day in late June, I have had times of terrible grief and feelings of complete helplessness. There have been moments when my sadness has been so great that it was a physical thing, squeezing my heart and stealing my breath. I have had periods of self doubt so overwhelming that I didn't think I could cope with the future ahead. I didn't think I would have the patience or ability to do what I needed to do, or be who I needed to be.
But I continue to give thanks for the blessings in my life. I am thankful that we were in the emergency department when the stroke occurred, and my husband received the absolute best and quickest care possible. I am thankful for the doctors and nursing staff, the therapists and team of people working hard every day to ensure whatever possible progress is made. I am thankful for our family and friends who have made my time at home alone more possible to bear. I am thankful for the strength of my husband, who has been determined to prove he can do whatever he is told is not possible.
So in these post-stroke weeks, I have given a lot of thought to the priorities in my life. Some of the dreams that seemed important to me before, now become a lot less significant. Some of my "to do's" have dropped by the wayside. Now, some of the "major accomplishments" I wanted to achieve don't seem to matter anymore. At this moment, somehow it seems more important to be kind, to be generous, and to enjoy friends and family, rather than achieving goals that really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
I am thankful for this chance to continue to share my life with the most important person in my world. It will be a different life than we had planned, but I have a partner to travel that path with me, and things might have been very, very different.
During our weeks at the hospital, a nurse asked my husband "Is this your wife?", he replied "She's not just my wife. She's my everything." And that is truly something wonderful to focus on during our challenges ahead.
published in the South Shore Breaker - July 19, 2017
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
|A recent trip to St. Matthew's United Church in Halifax to listen to the Lunch Bunch community choir sent me down the memory lane of visits to various church conversions.|
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
|a cozy corner from inside The Port Grocer in Port Medway|
And there comes a time when it's important to share our skills with other people.
Sunday, July 2, 2017
Backyard ponds are a benefit to frogs, dragonflies, butterflies, and birds, to name a few, and also create opportunities to improve photography skills.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
|I created this water mosaic with photos from our walk on Stoney Island Beach. These were taken with my point and shoot, an experiment to see if it's worth taking the time to create a larger mosaic with higher quality photos.|
It is my belief that even non birder people can appreciate a lovely bird song. Last year, I often heard tweeting of a non technological variety coming from the forest behind our house, but I wasn’t familiar with the song and I could never spot the bird. I recorded it one evening and then posted the sound on facebook, receiving immediate responses that the mysterious crooner was a hermit thrush.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
|There is no need to travel to other destinations for wildlife or landscape photography. Every day life can supply endless opportunities, if we take the time to look. Double Crested Cormorants along the LaHave River.|
"I want to encourage you, no matter what negative thoughts you have going on in your mind, to do the thing you feel you cannot.