A Big Thanks To All!
I have a strong awareness of having good things and great people in my life that I don’t deserve. Including most importantly, my very existence. I feel that it is wrong to not express this awareness in some way. I don’t like treating my good fortune as if it’s just my due. So, I offer this meager narrative in hopes that my family and friends know how I feel.
February 13 and 14, 2018 are dates I will not soon forget, nor will they slip away easily into the oblivion of time. I entered the Allegheny Valley Hospital on Tuesday, February 13,for a total hip replacement. Based upon my July 2014 experience, I expected it to be a routine procedure. To my surprise, it was anything but routine.
During surgery, my heart began acting like a Mexican jumping bean, surging up and down. Plans were devised to install a pace maker on the next day February 14th. During installation of the pace maker, I experienced a pulmonary aspiration that resulted in a ventilator, a feeding tube, and six day in the ICU. Under heavy sedation, my new replaced hip received no physical therapy, and I lost track of time.
My first memory, after surgery, was my wife Claudette saying, ”You have had a set back, but we will over come this and get better.” I felt like I had been to the “brink of hell and back.” It is the “back” part that this narrative is concerned with.
“Family is not an important thing, it’s everything.” Claudette, my wife, my friend, my nurse, my chef, my chauffer, my valet but most importantly, my love, was there for me in so many ways and has been for almost sixty-two years. I could not have been in better hands. She anticipated every need, planned for every eventuality, and carried out all necessary activities. She dressed me, undressed me, and feed me three times a day. She helped me shower, reminded me to take pills, and prodded me to exercise. Claudette is my rock, there is no way that I could adequately thank her, except to say that I love her very much.
Our children are all great human beings, I am so proud of them. Vincent was there everyday, Bryan came from Chicago to be with me, Michael was there when I needed a hand, Christina made sure all that was needed was provided, and Vicky’s visits and calls kept my spirits up. My children and their spouses are a gift that I probably do not deserve, but I am grateful for just the same.
Claudette and I have ten grandchildren, three married and seven others pursuing improvement via education, music and sports. We both bask in the joy of three great-grandchildren. Their calls and visits provided me with the joy and strength to push on for more and more healing. My sister and brother-in-law, Ellen and Lou, and my sister Sara and their children’s healing thoughts, cards and well-wishing notes all contributed to the improvement I now enjoy. The many calls, e-mails, cards and visits by friends and neighbors also bear a part in my recovery.
I do not like treating my good fortune as if it’s just my due. I think gratitude is a good thing. Gratitude is intimately connected with one of our central ethical values-our sense of fairness and justice. I am happy because I’m grateful that gratitude allows me to be happy.
So a gigantic THANKS to all!