About Me

My photo
I taught for several years at a residential school for children with emotional disabilities before staying home after the birth of my second daughter. I returned to teaching, finished my Educational Leadership program in May of 2012, and now work as our district's Writing and Social Studies Coordinator. I have always loved writing and find constant inspiration from my family. Maybe someday, I will get to see my name on the cover of a book!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

#Slice 2013: 23 of 31- Moments Matter



During the month of March, I have been participating in the Slice of Life Challenge, hosted by Stacey Shubitz and Ruth Ayres at twowritingteachers.wordpress.com. I have started a new blog, inspired by the fact that I've been trying to do more creative writing This post is part of a series about gifts that I am working on, inspired by The Twelve Kinds of Ice by Ellen Bryan Obed. My father had a serious accident eleven years ago and I have been trying to figure out a way to write about it ever since. I'm trying to through this series of memoirs about the gifts he has given me and my family members throughout our lives. Mostly, they are happy posts, but his accident was sad. This is the final post in this series. Thank you to those who have followed and provided feedback and encouragement. You have kept me going! Tomorrow, I promise my posts will lighten up.

For the first posts in the series, you would have to link up to tworeflectiveteachers.blogspot.com. 


Knowing That Moments Matter: An Important Gift

I don't know how much to write about the first few months after his accident, but I think it's enough to say that they were hard, but he improved. Initially, we were told that we should hire full-time help and be prepared for lives of care-giving. However, the doctors didn't know my dad. They were shocked at the gains he made and they credited his high intelligence. My father is one of the smartest people I have ever known. When I think about his functioning levels in terms of a graph, he improved a lot in the first six months, stayed pretty level for a few years, and has slipped over the last five years.

For a couple of years, my father returned to work. He didn't do much, but his staff was thrilled to have in back in the office and his doctors reassured us that he was fine with tasks that were routine. Surgery was out of the question because he had crushed his optic nerve when he fell so he is blind in his left eye, but his partner kept a close watch on his work with patients and reported that his practice was perfect as far as regular office visits were concerned. However, he peaked about two years after his accident.

"Any sort of brain disease that he would have gotten at an older age would be accelerated by the brain injury," his neurologist explained to us.

His father died of Alzheimer's Disease. Many people don't realize that you can die of this disease but, it's possible. Eventually, you forget how to swallow and breathe. I sometimes wonder if I should cheer for his slow moving prostate cancer that we have been treating since before his accident.

In the post that began this series, I wrote about missing my father the most when he is riding in the passenger seat next to me. He always wants to come for a ride and he rarely speaks when he comes along. Throughout the process of remembering and writing about his gifts, I have come to realize the gift that he gives us now, and that is to appreciate our moments.

Dad doesn't remember this morning and he asks several times a day what plans we have in store for the evening. But he loves what he does when he is doing it. If there's a game to watch, he wants to come. A concert to attend, he wants to be there. A play, he's in. When his bus comes to take him to his "program", he is ready and thrilled to get on.

"How was your day, Dad?" we ask.

"I had a great day," he always says.

He means it, too. His moments matter, because that's what he has, and it's a wonderful lesson and a gift for us all to remember. Moments matter.

Enjoy your gifts,




14 comments:

  1. Such a heart-breaking story with a wonderful message. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That was beautiful, Melanie.

    I am glad that you are choosing to write your way out of grief. It is something that I do, too, and it does seem to help. Knowing that there are others out there that also struggle with it, helps as well.

    Thank you for sharing you story with us.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for sharing the gifts from your father. You have done a beautiful job of revealing gifts that we all have within us. It is now our job to use those gifts for the joy of our families. Beautiful, Melanie.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Melanie,
    What a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful tribute to your dad. This piece made me cry. Thanks so much for the gift you have given us. Hope other members of your family are reading it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This whole series about your dad has been so touching and amazing. The moments matter and this is such an important lesson. Treasure those good moments with your father so that you can have strength for the tougher times.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am crying, right now on Saturday morning, because of your words...how God continues to bless you through walking with your family in crisis. Your dad continues to bring great gifts...I have a similar story to tell about my mom. I think the telling seems to bring healing tears. Thank you, Melanie. xo

    ReplyDelete
  7. I just stepped into this series this morning. Thank you- you have stated it so well. Todays post has hit home for me as I work with my mother who is with us but not the mother I knew and loved as a child and young adult. It is the moments we had and the few we have now that I cherish. Moments do matter. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  8. I loved all your writing about your dad, Melanie. My husband lives in a nursing home now, suffers from Parkinson's and a dementia linked to that. You are so right to live in the moments for they are precious. I love that your father still is upbeat and enjoying his moments too, although for you it is a different blessing. I hope, like others above, that all your family is reading and appreciating this tribute for your dad. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I haven't read all your posts in this series, but I have enjoyed the ones I have read. Your dad sounds like an amazing, special man, who is still giving gifts to his family. Thank you for being willing to share them.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have your posts - and your dad sounds like an inspiration for all of us. Your last lines are just so powerful and true for us, too. Until we watch someone lose glimpses of the future, we forget that what matters most is the moments. Thank you for the reminder.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The more I read about your Dad, the more I came to admire him....both for the way he was, generous and thoughtful and kind, and for the way he is...knowing that moments matter.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You've written such a moving and beautiful tribute to your dad. Thank you for sharing the gift of your his lesson with us, Melanie!
    Catherine

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have loved reading about your father too. This is another beautiful tribute to him and I especially like your line, "His moments matter..." What a wonderful lesson for all of us to remember. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Somehow, whenever one of us writes about people we love and pain we have endured for them, each of us finds ourselves in the writing. This is beautiful. Your final lines resonate...

    ReplyDelete