200. My neighbor's young daughter, who loaned me a car to drive to the hospital and told me to just keep it for as long as I needed it.
201. My cousin driving me home to spend the night in between hospital days.
202. Every single nurse in the hospital was kind and helpful and warm. Every. Single. One.
203. Dr. Jenny Lessard. I don't know how to thank her enough. Or how to thank God enough for her.
204. Dr. Sanda Morar. Her love is such a gift.
205. The short stay nurses, who came to visit, especially DeeAnn...for rushing in like a whirlwind and making us laugh, though we were drowning in sadness.
206. Dr. Dale Berry and his gift for talking medicine and theology all at once.
207. Meals from church people, who don't even know us.
208. My parents best friends, who live just minutes away.
209. For that best friend sitting in his car in the driveway when I pulled up to an empty house.
211. Text messages offering encouragement and love.
212. An extra recliner in the hospital room.
213. The courtesy cart at the hospital.
214. Hot coffee at all hours of day and night.
215. Visits that were unexpectedly helpful.
216. Peace between family members
217. The hospice nurse on the morning my mom died and the stories she told.
218. Facebook friends, who were awake at random hours of day and night with messages of love.
219. No. More. Pain.
220. Friends for Mane.
221. Friends of my own, who drove Mane all around.
222. My sister-in-law, who carried her own hope and kept it secret, who delivered gluten free lasagna and small comfort gifts.
223. Gluten free cookies and bread from a friend.
224. The ambulance drivers.
225. The funeral home directors.
226. Small town courtesies.
227. Heated seats.
228. The pastor from Utah
229. Friends from California
230. Stories people told
231. A steady stream of cards in the mail
232. Full freezer...for me and my dad
233. Bible study folks driving all the way to see us
234. Flowers from all kinds of people
235. Friends who ran out to buy vases.
236. Caribou from my dear, dear friend
237. People who ask the hard questions with me
238. My mom's ring
239. Help with the slideshow. THANK YOU!
240. Unexpectedly finding music I loved for the slideshow.
241. My children singing spanish songs at the memorial.
242. My uncle facebooking my dad in the middle of the night.
243. My uncle answering his phone in the middle of the night.
244. My dad's boss giving the guys paid time off to come to the memorial.
245. My ant & uncle flying in from Alaska.
246. My aunt driving down from Canada.
247. My uncle driving from New York.
248. Merkel Cell Awareness t-shirts
249. Emails from Jess in New York
250. A friend who will take up all my causes with me.
251. Orange yarn
252. Basket of fruit from a friend in St. Paul
253. Knowing that friend's children cared enough to call their mom as soon as they saw the message on facebook
254. Ann at PHS for understanding and taking the time to talk about it
255. My brother-in-law and his wife have TWINS on the way. How can this be? In this middle of all this. Double blessing.
256. Mane getting time with her good friend twice a week now that they're both homeschooling.
257. People ordering MCC shirts
258. My co-workers. Wow. They are just the best.
259. My boss, too, and her husband. So glad to be working for them right now.
260. Facebook messages from my parent's friend, who care about me too.
261. Having the time to blog about my favorite season.
263. Swimming with Mane AND Mango at Lifetime.
264. Attending TWO theater events this month.
265. A husband who lets me be who I am.
266. That I can still be grateful.
I don't even want to think that I can still be grateful right now. But, there it is. There are gifts in my life. They are there...whether I open my hands and receive them or whether I push them away. I am fighting to choose life. To choose gratitude...to accept those gifts that are offered, though they cannot take the place of gifts I've lost. They don't replace my mom. They don't give her back to me. But they are not nothing. They don't make it better. But they do add to my life. They make my life richer than if I had nothing at all. They are, in fact, signs that I am still alive.
This post was inspired by Ann Voskamp at: