Thankful and very blessed to be surrounded by real, live heroes.
My very first hero is my Mother. Not only has she overcome numerous obstacles in her life, in doing so she taught my brother and me about determination, perseverance, success, values, importance of family, unconditional love and compassion for others. She has embraced all of her grandchildren and has made no exception for Mia. She traveled with us when we first went to Cincinnati for our initial week long evaluation, lent a helping hand with Mia's morning procedures when Dave was out of town, learned how to assist the nurse so that Dave and I could go on vacation last year, stayed with me at Ronald MacDonald House and since Mia's surgery she has learned about her care so that Mia can spend the night at her house. Mia's medical needs do not stop her from taking Mia places and doing all the things she would do with any of her grandkids. She amazed me one day when I picked up Mia and she said, "She looked "mucusy" so I flushed her and had her drink more water." Not only is it a wonderful feeling for me, knowing Mom is able to assess Mia's medical needs and take care of them, it allows Mia to have time with Grammy like all the other kids, independent of me.
Next, of course, Miss Mia!! When I sit back and think of where she started, where she is today and all she has been through to get here, I couldn't be more proud of her! Not only does she face her challenges, she conquers them with grace! She is so brave, so resilient, so inspirational! Her bright smile and positive nature make me strive to be the best person I can be each and every day. She reminds me to count the smallest of blessings and take nothing for granted. She has shown me strength I never knew existed. Looking at her, I am reminded that life is unpredictable and fragile and we need to hold on to hope, faith and unconditional love!
Finally, I thank those heroes big and small who touch my life every day! Heroes who give selflessly, radiate hope, heal, cure, protect, teach, spread kindness, fight for better tomorrows and shine in the face of adversity and loss. I can name so many. This year has redefined "hero" for me. It's not always the one who has climbed the highest mountain, braved the toughest storm or won the biggest battle. It is, in fact, the ordinary person who makes this world a better place by the way he/she lives life, making the most of each and every day no matter how good or bad the day may be! They can be 1 or 101. They can be loud or quiet. Look around. They are everywhere if you wish to see them.
Happy Thanksgiving and happy birthday Mom, Mia and Gabriella!