We are not wealthy, but we are so rich…

Wow!  How did it get to be November already??  Holy cow, I feel like I blinked twice at the end of  August and here it is November already.  At least I have started my Christmas shopping.  It has been a very memorable fall, that is for sure.  We have a lot to be thankful for and will have a very special holiday season this year.

First, I was shocked and saddened to learn that a friend and former boss was one of the victims in the Navy Yard shooting.  He was a wonderful man and will be missed.  As the shock of my friend losing his life so suddenly and violently began to ease off just a bit, I looked forward to a happier occasion, the birth of our 2nd grandchild.

Well, our little grandson decided to make a grand entrance.  It started with an ambulance ride.  After a normal labor and delivery, the little guy arrived at 2:47 a.m. but after just a few seconds, the nurse realized something was very wrong.  His color was not as it should be; she said his bloodstream was not getting the oxygen it was supposed to be.

At 5 hours old, he was flown by helicopter to George Washington University Hospital for expert care.  After stabilizing him, the doctors at Georgetown decided he needed to be sent to Children’s National Medical Center.  Finally, we had a diagnosis.  He was born with a heart defect where the main arteries in his heart were criss-crossed and the oxygenated blood only flowed between his heart and lungs, not into the rest of his body.  The good news was that it was fixable with open-heart surgery.  And, he would only require the one surgery.

So, after keeping him stable for a few days, he had open-heart surgery at the ripe old age of 6 days.  Two big things were in his favor:  he was full-term when he was born and he was 8 pounds at birth.  The little guy is a trooper, that’s for sure.  He came through the surgery just fine and continued to improve every day.  He never took a step back–just kept on progressing forward.  He spent three weeks at the hospital and while he was there, I was able to step in and care for our 18 month-old granddaughter for 3 weeks.  I took her to daycare and fixed her meals and stayed over night with her at the house.  Our daughter and son-in-law came home every few days to spend some time with their daughter and then went right back up to the hospital to be with their son.

He had to have a speech therapist come in to teach him how to suck from a bottle because he had been on an IV and then a feeding tube and didn’t know how to drink from a bottle.  But, no matter what they put him through, he got through it and kept going forward.

What a special homecoming it was on the day our daughter and son-n-law pulled into the driveway with our grandson.  It was so good to have him home and to have their whole family all together in the same house.

Our little grandson is now a month old and he is doing so well.  He is absolutely adorable!

Years ago, I adopted an “attitude of gratitude.”  But, I have never felt so grateful as I do this year.  My heart goes out to my friend’s family and  all families who have lost loved ones this year.  No matter how they died, they will be missed by their families.   My Mom passed away just before the holiday season 3 years ago, and I know how hard it is to be without your loved ones.  The holidays and other special occasions are especially hard to get through.  I wish them all peace and comfort as they remember all the good times they had with their loved ones.  With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, I feel so blessed and have so much to be thankful for this holiday season.  What  a special Christmas gift we all have been given this year.

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