in praise of...

I have been wanting to write this since my surgery, but decided to wait until my head was a little less foggy so I could make sure I didn't leave out anything. I'm currently taking my oxycodone every 6 hours, and although it still makes me a bit loopy, I can feel a big difference from when I was taking it every 2-4 hours.

I have been amazed during this recovery by the way my friends and family have taken so much of their time to help and support me. I am so thankful for each person God has brought into my life that has encouraged me, prayed for me, and helped me with even simple things like just spending an hour or two with me to cheer me up. Among these wonderful people, my Mom stands out as someone who deserves some extra thanks and praise, and that's what I'd like to do right now.

My Mom is a teacher, and works very hard at her job, and yet she gave up the last week of her much deserved Christmas break to come down and be by my side in the hospital. She helped me keep track of my pain med schedule, which is no small task in the first two weeks of recovery. She helped me dress, eat, shower and get to and from the bathroom. And when I say helped me eat, I mean spoon feed me my meals, because I was too weak to even feed myself for the first week and a half! She encouraged me when I was so tired and frustrated with my constant pain and discomfort. She pushed me to eat when I could barely keep down a few bites of banana, which kept me from loosing too much weight (which usually happens after this surgery). She got up every 2 hours each night for 2 weeks, to help me take my pain medicine, which meant she only got 2 hours of sleep at a time. She changed my bandages, and kept track of any questions we had for the doctor. She changed my sheets when I got sick on them, and kept the laundry and dishes going. She helped me figure out the balance between the pain meds and how much fiber to eat to help my stomach pain. She made multiple trips to the grocery store and pharmacy. And this last part may be one of the best things she could do to help me: she never complained, or made me feel as though I was too much work. It is so helpful to have someone taking care of you who doesn't make you feel like you are a burden. She made all of this seem like it was easy, and no big deal, when in fact I know it was exhausting.

I know that Drew and I would not have been able to handle the first week by ourselves, especially with the spinal headache! My Mom was with me constantly, which allowed Drew to relax a little more, and get back to work the first week of January which is always a busy week. She worked tirelessly, and cheerfully. I am so blessed to have a Mom who is willing and able to help me through the most difficult times in my life.

The older I get, the more I realize how I have been blessed with my Mom. The more I know of the world, and how so many go through life either without mothers or with mothers who do not take care of them with love or concern, the more I appreciate her. She gives over and above what is asked, and so unselfishly. I hope that someday I can give that selflessly.

I see that she is truly a reflection of the woman described in Proverbs 31:10-31, for she "is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family...She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks...and her lamp does not go out at night...She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, "but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."

I am not just appreciative of how she has cared for me through this surgery, and the 3 that preceded it. I am also eternally thankful for how she raised and taught me from the time I was born. To quote another Scripture, she trained me from the start in the way I should go, and I have not strayed from it as an adult. Her mission to teach me about the One Who created me and loves me, was evident in every part of my upbringing, and I am so thankful for it. Even though I fought against it many times as a child, and even resented it at points as a teenager, I now see the wisdom in her teachings and disciplines. I hope that if I am ever blessed to be a mother, I will be able to emulate her faithfulness, love, and care. 

So, thank you Mom for the help you gave me, and the love you have shown me all 28 years of my life.
I love you.

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