Thanksgiving has passed, and even though there is a lot going wrong in my life these days I still have a lot to be thankful for.
I had a loving mother who raised me mostly by herself and always put me and my sisters first in her life. I saw her not eat dinner because there wasn't enough food for all of us but she would say she just wasn't hungry. This was while she worked at one of those so-called by the Republicans, "government jobs" that isn't a real job, for the draft board and later for the Air Force reserves. Not a lot of money in it for most government workers, which you wouldn't believe from what you hear, but then again, you will only hear about the extremes and not the overall reality when it comes from the Republican side.
I watch now as the younger of my two sisters takes care of our mother in a loving way that anyone would be proud of and wish they would have someone take care of them when they are in their final days. It's something that I really never believed was in her because of my experiences with her in life over the years. Then again, she is a testament to knowing that people can change on their own regardless of your own experiences with them.
Love is a wonderful thing to see win out in the end. It makes my troubles seem trivial in some ways since I have had so much love from so many people: My wife who for some reason still believes in me regardless of our situation and loves me unconditionally as I do her. My children who live their lives in ways that make me so proud. My friends who are there when times are hard and take me out or loan us money or are just there to listen. There is so much to be said for all the different kinds of love in my life. It is because of that love I can find the strength to go on.
Yet, as my mother lies in her bed for her final days, I cannot forget about Hospice of the Valley for all they have done to help. The government, however, because we lack the political will, has been difficult to deal with when a person is in such a state. Medicare is no help for the elderly in these cases and you must become impoverished to get any government help from Medicaid. We have to fix that. It is just morally wrong.
My mother worked long and hard all her life, paid her taxes and deserves better but that is for another argument. My mother is lucky and so am I to have my sister be in a position where she can take care of her. Not easy for her or my brother-in-law, who should not go un-thanked. How many people would want their mother-in-law to live with them under normal circumstances? So yes I am thankful. I am also hopeful for a better tomorrow, if only because of love, something no one can prove yet does exist.
-- Leif P. Damstoft, Warren