Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Keeping Mom Company After Heart Surgery

One minute I'm pulling weeds in the yard.  Next minute I'm on my way to help mom decide on angioplasty or heart by-pass surgery.  A conversation that sounds like, "Shall I have a salad or sandwich for lunch?"  Everyone was calm.

Mom was complaining of shortness of breath last week.  Her stress test wasn't good.  The angiogram showed two blockages.  One blockage would be easy to stent.  The other blockage was difficult.  The doctors stopped the angiogram and gave us the options.  With surgery, mom would be on a long road to recovery.  With angioplasty/stents, her road to recovery would be easier, but she'd always be looking over her shoulder, wondering if the stents are causing a recurrence in the blockage.  

The decision to do the by-pass wasn't easy.  She said, "I'd like to see my grandchildren get married."

I'm watching her as she rests in the hospital.  Her surgery was a success.  Her strength comes back each day.  I'll be with her on this road and for that I'm grateful.  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Taste of Freedom

Last month I was on the road and listened to an intriguing "60 Minutes" interview on the radio. The story focused on a young man who was born and raised in a prison camp in North Korea.  Can you imagine what that was like?  I can't.  Nothing to eat except watered down soup.  He was always hungry, but he didn't know any other life.

The man was in his 20's when a new prisoner came in and talked about the food outside of camp.  He told tales of spices that existed outside the chained fences.  The young man was so determined to taste the foods, that he and the new prisoner hatched a plan to escape.  Yet, while climbing the fence, the new prisoner was electrocuted.  The young man escaped. 

When asked by the reporter what the best thing about freedom is, the young man replied, "So many wonderful things to eat."  Since I started this practice in gratitude for my freedom, I'm thrilled when I'm out to eat, or at the grocery store.  I knew I wasn't crazy.  I walk down the aisles grateful for the selection from the bakery to produce.  Never gave it much thought before.  I insist that everyone order something different when I'm out at a restaurant so I can test all the dishes.  

I  took my son and daughter to Taste of Chicago last weekend.  Yes, it was crowded.  But it was fun.  People were out enjoying what some of Chicago's restaurants have to offer.  Loved the spinach pizza.  The spicy empanadas were perfect. The weather was beautiful.  I was grateful for The Taste of Freedom.