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Donna Hostetler, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving Days are usually filled with feasting. I love this time of the year and I love to bake, particularly pies.  Last year, Jay and I found ourselves eating hospital cafeteria food on this day while our uncooked turkey and pie dough stayed cold in our refrigerator.

One year ago today, my mom fell and broke a hip. The sequence of events to follow has been profound. She had a hip replacement on Thanksgiving Day, followed by two months of rehab and three additional trips to the hospital with blood transfusions, pneumonia, and an additional infection. We moved her from her apartment to assisted care, sold a home she owned, and assumed power of attorney to manage her finances. In May, she fell and broke her other hip beginning a repeat of hospital stays, rehab, and a new adjustment to her limited abilities and wheelchair confinement. This has been a dramatic transition for a woman who was living independently, driving her own vehicle and managing a very social life just one year earlier.

In the midst of it all, my mom has remained to be gracious, appreciative of her caregivers and thankful. Yes, thankful. Thankful that she has lived a full life and has a safe, warm, caring environment in which to live.

As I previously mentioned, it has been profound. But the most extreme aspect for me has been to watch, listen and yet learn from my mom just what it means to live in contentment even in the midst of a turbulent year. And, as her abilities have become limited, her focus on earthly things has diminished and her eternal focus has become even stronger. I attribute all of this to her personal “soul care.” It has been a priority in her life. Another important reminder to me. She is looking forward to seeing Jesus, because as she says, “that’s all that really matters.”

So at this Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for many lessons learned this year and such an incredible role model—my mom. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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