Thursday, December 2, 2010

Perspective

Over the past few months, much has been going on that has caused me more than a little anxiety:

1. My mother was diagnosed with the very beginning stages of dementia.

2. My job - total upheaval and change. Not necessarily bad but dramatically and completely different.

3. Add to that the typical stress of life. Not enough time. Hustle and bustle.

I have most definitely been in a funk period as a result of all of the above. I'm not prone to whining or complaining so I've kept most of this very private or have spoken in very general terms.

This past weekend (Thanksgiving weekend in the US), I received a real dose of perspective. Dan is home on leave from deployment overseas. He's the one on the right in the picture below. The one with the uncombed hair is my son. He's been friends with Dan for several years.
DSC01890
Dan came over for a couple of hours Sunday night to talk to me because he knew I wanted to see him. He was deployed in May almost directly from Basic Training and he's been through so much. He's always been very chatty so he shared a lot.

He's been shot. In the head. His kevlar helmet saved his life. Most of us will believe that it was more than a helmet that is responsible for him being here today.

He works 12+ hours a day 7 days a week. He also has PT daily. He's a medic with a trauma unit (level 2 I think he said) that receives wounded directly from the front line. That is, if he's not out there treating them in the field while putting his own life in the line of fire. He has seen unthinkable things.

When he goes back, he's being assigned to a new squadron. Dan shared with me the prior 8 medics with this squadron have been "lost".

Lost meaning ALL prior 8 medics were shot. 4 fatally.

My worries? Insignificant. Funk to thankfulness and a new positive perspective with a single conversation.

Please keep Dan and the thousands of others serving their country across the world in your thoughts and prayers. They truly need them.

38 comments:

Barb said...

Jackie, I know it will be hard with your mother's illness, but you have a postitive outlook and I am sure the strength for the challenges you will face with it.

My heart goes out to all of these young men. When my son talks of the stuff that has happened to him, I just want to cry....no sonn or daughter should have to go through that. I too appreciate the freedoms we have and the sacrifice it takes. I am glad Dan's life was spared and I will pray for him and all the military.

Faye said...

Please let Dan know that we all are so grateful for all the men and women who put their lives on the line DAILY by serving in the military! It sounds like you guys had a good talk and he leans on you..Compliment to you. Secondly, thanks for sharing this with all of us...I know I hear about this stress more than most because alot of children in my classroom have one or both parents in the Army at Fort Bragg... This is the stress they all deal each and every day yet they continue to step up and look forward to the next task at hand.

Yes! Tell every single person you see in the armed forces how much they are appreciated... They need to hear it from all of us.

Take care Jackie, Faye

valerie said...

Oh my, this post made me teary. To think of all those people who risk their lives in warzones. It's terrible. Please thank Dan for his service. I'm glad he was with family for the holiday.

Sorry to hear about your mom. My dad is becoming very forgetful. It's all short-term stuff but still. It's scary. *hugs*

Cootie Bug Connie said...

Your post speaks to all of us. Sometimes we need to be reminded of how blessed we are. Thank you for posting. Blessings to you.

Hazel said...

Oh Jackie, it sounds like you have had a horrid year of it. My heart goes out to you and your mum and your family and also for Dan - how awful. New jobs can be so stressful too. Big hugs. xxx

mandy said...

Thank you for sharing! We all need to be constantly reminded what our freedom is costing so many every day. And I'm so sorry to hear about your mom...

Daffycat said...

*hugs* That's so scary about your mother! I hope they can slow the progress of this disease for her.

Prayers for Dan. We are so grateful for his service ~ words cannot express how much.

Margaret said...

You're so right about perspective. You've definitely had it rough for a while though. Definitely give Dan my thanks -- that goes for all the troops out there too. Talk about heroes. Makes me teary to think about. And give your son a hug too. Hang in there. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your mom and your whole family (and Dan too).

Lori said...

I know what you're going through as my Dad had alzheimers for 8 years. Sorry for you but thankful for your friend Dan and the sacrifice he makes for us daily. Please thank him foe me if you get a chance.

Beth said...

hope they've caught your mom's dementia early enough to be of help -- Alzheimer's runs in my family and early detection can help!

Dan seems like a good guy and it is so hard to know what our soldiers go through. I can only hope he stays safe and that these pointless wars end soon!

Carol said...

I am so thankful for the brave young men and women like Dan, Jackie. Please tell him how much we appreciate his sacrifices...

So sorry to hear about your mom--my dad has really failed in the past 6 months with a horrible dementia called Lewy Body Dementia. If you want to talk--please email me. It is the most heartbreaking thing to watch our once strong parents fail... (((Hugs)))

Brenda said...

Nothing like a dose of someone elses reality to bring you back to what's real huh? Thanks for that post...a reminder that our men and women are out there every day.

Pat said...

I'm thinking of you, my friend...as I know you are facing a lot right now. I, too, will pray for the safety of Dan and the thousands of others in harm's way every day and night for us.

averyclaire.org said...

Oh Jackie..my prayers are with you and with Dan and your son. Life certainly has its difficulties and a good share are listed right here. May God wrap his arms of warmth and love around all of you and send you His Peace. Glad you received the prize.

Catherine said...

Thoughts and prayers to you, your mom and Dan. How wonderful that you were there for him to talk to. Thanks for the dose of perspective and what really counts!

Carol said...

Jackie, I can relate to all 3. My mom has dementia. Diagnosed about 3 years ago but I have known something was wrong for over 5 years. It's very hard to deal with so if you ever want to talk about it, feel free to email me.
Lots of changes where I work too. Definitely adds to stress. Don't let your funk keep you from your hobbies. I did for a while and I should have pushed myself. They are what bring me some peace. Both of my daughters have military husbands and my dad is a WWII vet. I am very appreciative of the sacrifices these young men make for us all!

Deborah said...

Very sorry to hear about your Mom. Please let dan know that we all appreciate the work that all our soldiers do. Because of them we are able to live a free life. My prayers are with you and Dan.

QuiltSue said...

I'm sorry for all the upheavals you've had, specially with your mother. Does she live near you?

You're right though, what your son's friend has been through, and continues to do so, really makes us stop and think doesn't it?

Isadarena said...

Dear Jackie, it sounds like you have a terrible time and I am really sorry about that . I hardly hope the next year will be more easy for you and your family .
Greeting from France,
Isabelle

Simone de Klerk said...

What a very touching and impressive story and so good of you to share this with us. As you say, you look at life a different way, after reading this. And we should be reminded of that more frequently!

Tonya said...

WOW...thank Dan for me. I can't imagine doing what he does day after day. Awesome guy!

Annie said...

My Mom had Alzheimer's so I understand what this means. Feel free to ask me any questions or discuss this at any time.

Life does seem to throw us curve balls all the time. Your son's buddy's story does indeed put everything in perspective. Makes us grateful for what we have and what fine young men we have in the country.

Sending big hugs your way.

Liana said...

oooh, this one brought tears to my eyes. I too am thankful for all the military boys and girls do for us, I just can't imagine going through what they do on a daily basis.

I'm sorry to hear about your Mom. It will be tough and please lean on your family and friends for support, that's what we're here for.

I lost my Mom to cancer alomost 10 years ago and although at the time I thought it was too soon to lose her (she was only 65) but then on the other hand I'm thankful that I won't have to deal with her possible dementia or Alzheimers, where she may have forgotten who I was. That would have been hard and still brings tears to my eyes today.

Michelle said...

I've been having a hard time as well, and you're very right, it is always good to put everything in perspective. Thanks so much for sharing this. I am sorry to hear about your mother's diagnosis. Big hugs.

Robin (rsislandcrafts) said...

It will be hard for you and your Mom. I hope you have a good support system to help you through these times.

Please thank Dan for all that he does and sacrifices for the rest of us.

Talking to a Soldier will definitely give you a different perspective on what is going on in your life.

imquilternity said...

Lovely post Jackie! Thanks for reminding us that someone in this world is always in a worse postion that we are! I do feel for you with your mother - my husband's mom is way past the beginning stages, but she is still a happy person!

Micki said...

Jackie, keep the faith. It will get you through it all. My heart goes out to you, esp. about your mom. I know how hard that is going to be for you and your family. My prayers go with Dan also and all the men who serve our country.
I know how stressful all this has been for you. This year has been no picnic for me too.
My love to you and blessings,
Micki

yarnjourney said...

Please thank Dan for me too. It takes someone very special to do what he is doing.

Sorry you are going through such a difficult time. I send my prayers to you and your family.

Kathleen said...

Great post. With your attitude, you will be fine! God bless Dan and the rest of our military.

Angela P said...

Big Hugs :) I hope your Mom's illness progresses slowly, I can't imagine what you are going through.

Words just don't seem enough to express thanks to all these brave young men/women that risk their lives to keep us all free and safe, I will keep Dan and all the military in my prayers.

passingdowncrazy said...

Now that's what a real hero looks like! What a huge sacrifice he's making for us. I'm praying for a hedge of protection around him.

Quilt Hollow said...

My heart is aching with this post...it has been awhile since I've visited and to catch up with this news is so hard...hard on you.
My husband was previous military and numerous deployments and "losses" with so many friends. I'm thankful for men like Dan still taking care of us after our tours over there. It is absolutely insane and crazy that these young men sacrifice so much...we owe them immensely!

Suzanne said...

My thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

Thank you for taking the time to leave a lovely comment on my blog.

Sally said...

I'm just catching up Jackie and want to send some hugs your way. So sorry to hear about your Mum's illness. That must be so hard on you and your family.

Praying for Dan and all the men and women serving to keep our countries safe.

Chris said...

Hi Jackie, I'm really sorry to hear about your mom. I'll be keeping you and Dan in my thoughts.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Sorry to read about your mom...I'll keep you both in my thoughts.

As for Dan...what a remarkable fellow. I'm in awe of those special ones that can put their lives on the line. My thoughts are with him that he stays safe.

Debbie said...

Jackie, your post socked me in the gut..My thoughts are with you, your mom, Dan and all the brave men and women who put their lives on the line for us, every minute of everyday.

Katie :o) said...

You, your family, and Dan are in my thoughts and prayers! Thank you for sharing. Sometimes it is harder to share the deep thoughts than the mundane. I'll be thinking of you all throughout the holidays and beyond!