7.09.2007

Gratitude

Sorry for the extreme delay in new blog posts these past few weeks. I’m sure our many fans (all two of you) have been heartbroken. The Lewis girls found out some bad news about the Lewis dad, so blogging hasn't been on the mind.

My dad was diagnosed with Leukemia (AML) on Friday June 29th. The days following have been a whirlwind. My dad is in the hospital receiving treatment and will stay there for about a month. Everyone, including him, is doing quite well (or at least as well as could be expected). It is hard at a time like this not to feel gratitude for things previously ignored like:

  • Hand Sanitizer and its ability to keep germs away from my pops
  • Medical Insurance
  • Friendly nurses and their patient ways (except for the one that scolded my 40 year old brother)
  • Beds with the ability to move up and down
  • Having a cancer center in town
  • Personal prayers, and all the prayers that have been offered on our behalf
  • My newest little niece and the gigantic bows she unknowingly wears on her head. She better than anyone can get a smile from my dad
  • Prior patients who helped refine and improve imperfect treatments
  • TV remote controls
  • Photographs so we can plaster the hospital room with grandkid faces
  • A human being’s ability to adapt and change
  • Clipboards and crossword puzzles
  • Loving siblings
  • Email and the immediate / painless communication it provides
  • Crocks, the perfect hospital shoe
  • Annual Dr. Check ups and the fact that my dad is probably the one person who actually has those, annually
  • Extended family concern including the LIVESTRONG bracelets my uncle bought everyone as a reminder of their love & support
  • Private hospital rooms
  • Battery Packs that allow the IV/Chemo to keep running while my dad goes on walks through hospital halls
  • The Internet as a ready source of information
  • Marijuana and the wonderful anti nausea medicine it provides
  • A loving Heavenly Father who knows when to send extra peace, comfort and faith
  • Genuine concern of neighbors and friends
  • The golf channel
  • Hospital food. Can you believe my dad likes it? Tonight I heard him say “I wonder how they make the beef so tender.”
  • Priesthood blessings
  • My mom’s independence. Her ability to handle tough experiences with such strength
  • My big brother’s willingness to step up and take charge of all the fatherly duties. His optimistic attitude and ability to comfort all of us
  • My sister Laura’s dedication to visiting my dad for 3+ hours every day. The small unasked services she provides for my mom on a daily basis.
  • My sister Sara’s ability to see things from my dad’s perspective and advise on how best to care for him. Her attentiveness to all of us with phone calls and email.
  • My husband’s tenderness. His desire to drive 1 hour to mow their lawn & visit my dad after a 8 hour car ride; and before a 5 day business trip.
  • And of course most of all I’m grateful for my sweet dad. You could not ask for a better father. He is and always has been the perfect example, caregiver, and provider – even from the hospital bed “Well, if your mother insists on staying please walk her to her car and back to the hospital. I want to be sure she can find her car later when it is dark.” My dad has such a unique blend of talents and personality traits. His love for me and my family could never be questioned. Everything he has done has always been for us (except for maybe when he took us to Hawaii that first time, and we only went to the beach one day for an hour. I remember lots of pineapple museums, King Kamehameha statues, and sugar cane factories).

We love you so very much Dad.

17 comments:

Sorensen's said...

Carrie,
I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I can't even imagine how hard that would be to go through. We will keep you and your family in our prayers. I hope everything goes well with the treatments.

Amy

sara said...

well said, carrie.

we should try and get ahold of some marijuana for the rest of us! although i'm not sure the church (or my baby's pediatrician) would approve.

can't wait to get out there and be able to help out a little bit. it stinks being far away at times like this.

i love you.

di said...

carrie, very well said. please send your family our love (and my from my sisters and parents). you are all in our constant thoughts and prayers.
much love, diane

di said...

carrie, very well said. please send your family our love (and my from my sisters and parents). you are all in our constant thoughts and prayers.
much love, diane

Ashley said...

carrie,
I hope you and the fam are doing well, atleast as well as you can be! We missed you at the reunion, but it was so fun to see Dave! We are thinking about you! Love you!

madschill said...

what a beautifully written post. we love you and your family.

xoxo-Missy

Christina said...

Carrie,
I've been thinking a lot about you and your family this past week. You are ALL in our prayers!!! Please let me know if I can help out with anything at all.
Love,
Christina

TippettsFam said...

beautiful post, carrie!!! we will keep you and yours in our thoughts and prayers!

dave said...

It is great to be able to recognize all those things we have to be grateful for. I am grateful for the feeling of the first 100 yards of a run on 80 degree evening. I love to run when the sun is setting-especially when I am running towards the sun-I feel like I could run forever. I am grateful to be able to recognize all those things that aren’t important. Things that waste time, namely work.

Mom Lewis said...

I also am very grateful for ALL of the things Carrie mentioned and of course Carrie herself, who didn't go to her husband's family reunion in Utah and stayed with me in Boulder. She was such a loving helpful (even motherly-sometimes even too motherly) support to me and her Dad, and REALLY helped us get through an extremely difficult time.

Even since she has gone back home to Wash Park in Denver and to work, has come up to Boulder every day after work to visit and buoy up her Dad, and of course me.

Anonymous said...

Whaaaat, you didn't mention your gratitude for THE ICE at the hospital. I have gotten razzed for years about driving 15 mintues each way to the hospital to fill up huge bags of this most amazing ice to take home for personal enjoyment. Granted, I used to get it on the 2nd floor but was "kicked out" and threatened that they were going to call security if I showed up again BUT that was because it was the maternity ward and I guess they didn't want random "ice horkers" milling around the women walking 9 months pregnant trying to get things going. BUT both Carrie and Mom totally love the ice now.

I have to say, it has been very hard to see my dad go through this process or "torture in the 21st century" but I wouldn't trade one second of it b/c seeing him struggle and keep such a brave face has been amazing. My sister Carrie Sue has seen and taken the opportunity to shed her youngest child status and catapult herself to the position of most tenacious 'Chemo Supporter' ever. She is AMAZING and has been such a blessing to mom because she was there in the most critical time when mom would have otherwise been alone. Those first days were so so hard and Carrie sacrificed Dave's family reunion, three legged race et all, to come and be with mom.

I give a SHOUT OUT to Carrie.

I do still have one question though...

Is Princess Diane dead or alive?

Laura Lewir said...

The anoonymous blog is from Laura but I am not savy enough to have an official blog name.

di said...

janice h. has posted a really sweet tribute to your whole family and how you have all rallied around each other on her blog--"toothsomefamily." i think that you would enjoy it.

carrie said...

Could it be true? Is that ACTUALLY a real appearance of the 3rd Lewis girl on the Lewis girl’s blog? Take note everyone...she is a rare species...and we never know when she will resurface. Yes the ice is fabulous.

Thanks everyone for your nice thoughts, sentiments and love. We have such amazing friends and family!

How neat that Janice put up a post about our dad...thanks for sharing that Diane! It is so nice to hear from you!

jendoop said...

Carrie,
My father-in-law was just diagnosed with cancer. He lives in UT and we are in PA. The rest of the fam was able to vacation and be together the past two weeks but we're not able to be there. It helped to read your post, thank you for sharing.

Leslie said...

I'd just like to say that if you stripped the newest baby niece down to her diaper, she could easily be mistaken for one of her brothers--so the massive head bow is a neccesity. Plus, I think she actually likes to wear them--she loves the attention, and she's never even attempted to grab the prominent accessory on her head.

The sweet think about this is to watch my boys reaction. Tanner's always looking for little presents we can take Grampa--right now he's obsessed about geting him a little putting green and his putter and bringing it to the hospital. T-man called him yesterday to tell him all about his golf round at a new course. The crazy thing is that Grampa actually seems chatty. All the Lewis kids have been amazing at the love and support they've been giving to their parents--you guys are great!

Pam, Jason, and Ryan said...

Carrie, and family,
We are thinking of you and our prayers are with you and particularly your dad. I would love to help out if there is anything that I can do!
Pam