Today is the third “anniversary” of Daddy’s stroke. We went to church, ate out, celebrated. No, we did not celebrate the event of three years past. We celebrated life. After all, despite its many discomforts, life is beautiful.
If there is one thing that Dad’s stroke taught us, it is this: there is always something to be grateful for. True, the past three years have not been the easiest. It is a source of great pain that Dad—who could out-talk and out-debate anybody—is now literally a man of a few words: the stroke stripped him of speech. He had a great voice. When we were little, he lulled us to sleep with “Edelweiss,” “Let the Sun Shine” and stories of his life. Too bad he can no longer do the same for our kids.
Still, appreciation outweighs the minuses. We are thankful for the little miracles, the small mercies. We are thankful that he is mobile, that he can take long trips, that he is still with us.
In a sense, it’s starting life all over again. We celebrate the milestones: a song remembered, a new word relearned, a few steps without the cane. We salve each others’ hurts. We share in the frustration of wanting to say something but not being able to.
It has been three years. We are sappier than we've ever been; sappier than we've ever imagined we'd be. Every single day is a reminder that we are quite lucky. Our kids may have lost the chance of sitting on Lolo’s lap, listening to his many stories. But we do know the stories by heart, and it is up to us to add our own.