When I was a kid my dad used to come and pick me and my sister up every morning at 7am at my mom's house. He would take us to Hardee's for breakfast and then take us to school.(On Fridays he would take us 'Joe's Place' for some 'home fries'.) One particular morning in December of my fourth grade year he was late. I remember pacing as my stomach roared thinking to myself "Dad's never late to pick us up for breakfast...." My Granny Billie showed up a few minutes later to let us know that when my stepmom went to wake him that morning he was unresponsive and they thought he had suffered a severe stroke. Mom rushed us to intensive care to see him. I remember being so upset that I literally got sick to my stomach and threw up in the hospital bathroom. Although Dad's expectancy for living was low, he somehow pulled through and survived with loss of speech and paralysis on his right side, along with other effects.
My stepmother, Connie, was a young woman and newlywed with big dreams and goals. Here she was left with a lifetime of caretaking for my dad. I can not imagine all the thoughts that went through her mind as she faced this huge challenge. (Dad's stroke affected many of us in many ways and I don't want to discount anyone here, but this is simply a highlight of Connie.) Connie's strength and love over the past years has never ceased to amaze me. I can't even begin to imagine how I would react in her situation, but I know that I am eternally thankful for her selfless love and devotion for my dad.
Connie is a writer and has just started a blog dedicated to Stroke Caregiving. Her posts will pull at your heartstrings. They will make you laugh, smile and cry. She's a very gifted writer and I am thankful for this blog to be a constant reminder to me of her selfless love. Thank you, Connie. I can not say it enough or explain to you enough how thankful I am for you and how much I love you.
Check out Connie's blog HERE.