Thanks for Celebrating Dad With Us

#dadupdate

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for taking time to send a birthday greeting to my dad (Norb Kwiecinski). We had a large crowd gather in shifts at RML on Saturday and Sunday, all family. Without question, Dad was overwhelmed by it all.

But he needs it.

He’s just now coming to grips with where he is, how long he has been in the hospital, how long he’s been lying in bed, what it‘s done to his body, how challenging it is to do the simplest things now. So when he has a crowd of people come to see him, for his birthday no less, and he realizes that he’s still in the hospital, and he barely remembers that it was still early January when he walked into Lutheran General, yeah, he’s going to be completely overwhelmed.

He has a lot of time on his hands these days. His mind is getting sharper. He is anxious to improve. He knows he can’t do much of anything. He can’t hold a damn newspaper for longer than five minutes if he’s lucky, for God’s sake, before his hands and arms tremble from the exertion.

So what do you do with all of that time?

Wonder if it’s all worth it? Wonder if anyone remembers that you’re still alive? Wonder if anyone cares?

I don’t know. But any of us can imagine and conjure our own thoughts.

So when he has a crowd of people converge on him, you bet he’s going to be overwhelmed. I would. Any of us would. It’s so hard to relate to what he is going through.

But that same overwhelming crowd brings life. Vigor. An essence of existence that may seem commonplace or routine or normal to us. But vital to Dad.

He sees, understands, and feels that there is something to live for. There are countless someones to live for. He needs a reason to practice swallowing so he can take a sip of water or simply suck on an few small chips of ice. He needs a reason to sit up for ten minutes, feeling like it’s ten hours, and know that he needs to progress to three hours of therapy a day.

Baby steps. Not only does he need to take those baby steps, he needs to have a reason to take them. He needs to see those reasons. He needs to see and hear and feel the love, the life, the beauty of his family and friends.

Dad’s coming back to us. But he still has a long, challenging road ahead of him. It’s time for more support than ever.

I wish I had time to write more. Thanks again, everyone.

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