A couple of months ago before the summer heat and hot humidity hit Atlanta, I was talking with a family member over the phone. Now living in assisted-living (not a nursing home) due to a series of multiple surgeries, infections, and a leg fracture the past two years, I keep communication open with family and friends. Although a fair distance from the rest of my family, I still communicate through phone, emails or text messages. Everyone is busy with their own lives, their own families and loved ones. My elderly mother passed last year in March and my elderly father is living in an assistance living home himself a little north of here. His health is good and he seems to enjoy it. Three meals a day, laundry and housekeeping provided…what is not to like.

I remember the conversation I had over the phone. My family is assisting my father with doctor and medical appointments. They drive him to regularly scheduled appointments. That is a good thing but it is what this family member said that particular day that got me. She said that being obedient to one’s parents is biblical but there was no obligation to siblings. I can’t argue there about obeying one’s parents and their wishes, however, I could take her statement two ways. Either she felt obligated to my father and not to me or she was too busy in her own personal matters to care at the time.

I disagree with her statement. Family is family, especially blood kin, no matter the circumstances. The statement is forgiven but not forgotten. I could have taken it wrong but I don’t think so. It haunts me still today. Life brought me a set of circumstances in health and medical problems. They were out of my control and could not be prevented (except maybe the last leg injury). I am here for a reason, a purpose. My life this past year has been filled with making new friendships and restoring hope to others. I have been attending weekly bible studies and renewing my relationship with God. I am slow to come around, as these last two years have been both challenging and remarkable.

Today, I pulled a lesson from Psalms 22:26 – All who seek the Lord will praise Him. Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy. Remember that everyday is a blessing. Gracious Lord, thank You for giving me everything I need to be happy. I am thankful that when I have a long frustrating or bad day, my good friend tells me that he loves me. It brings me much happiness and a new meaning to life. We need to find blessings in everything, even little things. Be grateful for what you have and don’t forget about others in your life

I’m grateful I’m alive, even after continuous dips in health issues this past year. I feel like I’ve been on a roller-coaster ride. This came to true light after I had major surgery last September. Three or four days after the surgery, my blood pressure dropped drastically very low. I had been taking powerful pain medication. After taking my blood pressure, the medical technician went to get help. By then, the nurse said I didn’t respond to her. I woke up with two nurses standing over my hospital bed. One was using a pump (twice) to revive me. What startled me was that I don’t remember being out at all. I do remember vividly looking down at my own body – no pain or feeling. Describing this to my medical doctor friend months later, he said I could had been clinically dead at that moment. Crazy but something I didn’t talk about for a long time. Having good health is half the battle. If you have your health, you have everything.