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A Matter of Perspective

Three years ago in July, my sister went into the hospital. She was very sick and had horrible headaches all the time.

It turned out that she had a brain tumor about the size of a small orange.

The doctors were able to remove most of the tumor during several consecutive surgeries, but my sister continued to have a lot of pain and infections. She had to have the plate in her head replaced three times because of infections. She had to have balloons put under the skin of her head so they could blow them up with saline to make the skin expand. After numerous surgeries (I believe she had 17 in all) the skin on her head had shrunk and there was no where to sew it together anymore and not enough room for her plate.

She would have to wear a helmet for three months at a time while the plate was out giving her head time to heal.

She went through a lot. More than many of us would endure.

Last week she celebrated her 50th birthday! I was so happy for her. She was surprised with a car parade that drove around her driveway. There were around 50 cars led by an ambulance and two fire trucks.

She was shocked to tears. She kept saying, “I am so overwhelmed.” It was beautiful to see all the people who came out in support of my sister. Many of her former students participated in the car parade, too. That really touched her heart.

A lot in her life has changed since her surgery. She can no longer drive. Because the tumor was on her right lobe, she doesn’t see anything on her left side. She hasn’t been able to drive in nearly three years. She hasn’t been able to work either.

She said to me that night, “I just wanted to see people. I thought everyone had forgotten about my birthday. I have been locked in my house for three years.”

I said, “Oh, you mean three months?”

I was thinking narrowly of the pandemic. I wasn’t even thinking that for the past nearly three years she had been a prisoner in her own home because of the tumor and its lasting effects on her.

As I looked at this incredible woman, I marveled at how thankful she always seems to be, for everything. I realized, too, that I have a lot to be thankful for.

I also was able to see my mom and dad that day. I got to wish my dad a Happy Father’s Day.

I was slapped with the reality that I really have a lot to be thankful for. I have a sister who is still recovering, but alive and doing well.

I have both my parents still living and mostly well.

There is a lot to be glad about in my life.

What things do you have to be grateful or thankful or glad for in your life? I am guessing there is more good than bad.



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