February is always highlighted for the holiday for those in Love! I have learned moreso what true love and caring is over the past several weeks. My Mother-In-Law, Pat, who had come to live with us in our home in TN back in October, has had some obstacles to overcome. She lost her balance while in our home and fell – breaking her left knee cap, her C3 vertebra and her nose. She’s such a trooper – taking the ride via ambulance all in stride. Then her return to our home that same Friday via her minivan. We learned to care for Pat as best we could. We were thankful for the in-home health care workers that would come and go to assist with her health: Nurses, Aides, and Physical Therapists. She was making enormous strides in progress when there was a yet another set back – and another ride to the hospital via ambulance.
Pat had 5 children that she raised in northern Indiana – the only place she had ever called home prior to her recent move to Tennessee. She had four boys and she finally had a girl to round out her family. Pat had a lot of heart – she always did. She gave endlessly to her family anytime they needed anything. She gave to her ailing husband (my father-in-law) as he fought health issues that he sustained from Vietnam for over 25 years. She gave her heart through every meal she ever made! All those fish fries from all the fish they caught up @ Lake Erie. From the deep fried turkeys at Thanksgiving to all the scrumptious pies she’d make from scratch for every holiday. She crocheted many a blanket for her kids and grandkids. She sewed endlessly everyday at work year after year, developing carpal tunnel and a myriad of other injuries over the years from her hobbies and repetitive motion injuries obtained through work. But she never complained about things. She got up everyday ready to face whatever was thrown her way. She’d overcome any adversity or setback throughout life. She always had a servant’s heart – ready to serve whatever needs a family member or friend may have had.
Pat had always been the heart of the Starkey family. She will continue to live on through each one of us as we remember her fondly each in our own special way.
What must NOT be lost in our sadness is the fact that it has taken an army of doctors, nurses, therapists, pastors, priests, etc… with their enormous hearts for helping others – that has guided us through this process. Without the compassion and daily heartfelt care from all the hospital personnel, then the hospice personnel, and all of our friends and family that have reached out to offer their helping hands as well – we are forever grateful. We have Very Full & Grateful Hearts for each and every caregiver for Pat. They are each Godsends in and of themselves! We appreciate them being forthright and informative to allow us to better prepare for the emptiness we might find in our own hearts.
We open up our hearts to all the HEART HEROs that we’ve encountered this month. February will not be the only month that I acknowledge as Heart Month – I will be thankful every single month of every single year from here on out. I personally thank each and every one of the health care workers I’ve met and appreciate you every day! I have wonderful health care neighbors that have also assisted us during this time. Cherish each individual’s personal contributions each day. I am here to tell you – there is a great big THANK YOU that comes from my HEART going out to every person I have ever encountered in my life!