This season of giving is highlighted by the exchange of gifts and hugs and sweets and love. To give is better than to receive. Few embody this giving spirit more so than my wife. No joy surpasses that of sharing in special times with those most beloved.
But this holiday season, this year of 2014 is simply different. Our children have grown and a first grandchild has arrived, but that is not what makes this year different from every other.
No, that which has transformed to make this year unique is a health scare. March seems so long ago now. Just nine months ago, everything was altered. Life became different. Each moment never to be the same again.
The love of my life for 24 years experienced a life-threatening incident that left her paralyzed below the sternum. An active life of raising children and running a busy household and working and volunteering all changed in a matter of moments.
Legs that carried her through life from Pennsylvania to Oklahoma and into my life two-plus decades ago by dancing with me, now refused to respond.
She was forced to learn to move from bed to wheelchair to vehicle and back with legs dragging behind. The frustration was evident. But so was the smile. The ever-present smile.
She feared this had changed her. I assured her it didn’t. She was still wife, mother, love, reason, heart and soul. Everything.
The only thing that had changed was how she gets around. And maybe the fact that now I get to help her nearly as much as she has helped carry me through the years.
This special season that begins with giving of thanks, will end with more thankfulness. For what more could I be than thankful that my love and joy and heart and soul is beside me this year. She is here and that is all I need this holiday and every day.