Family is one of the most important things in our lives, now more than ever. I cannot put a price tag on what our families have meant to us over the past few months and years. The fact that both of our parents are still married and in love, that all of our brothers and sisters are so supportive of each other is something that we do not take for granted, especially having talked with so many other patients and caregivers who are seemingly doing it on their own because of dysfunctional and/or unsupportive families.
I don't speak about our families much here, because, as the following for this blog has grown, the risk of invading their privacy has become greater as well, and I have tried to write and post with as much sensitivity to their own lives as possible. More than just about anything else, Tricia is always a daughter and a sister (in-law), niece and aunt and cousin first, and I know that it can be difficult for some of our family to get some info and pictures and video at the same time the rest of the world is.
In many ways, regardless of the difficulties of the daily grind as a caregiver in the hospital, it is so much easier for me to be here with my two girls than it is for most of our family to live so far away that they feel somewhat detached from what we're going through. Although the blog has served it's purpose well of getting info out quickly and clearly, and we have certainly shared much more privileged info with family than what has been posted on the blog, even receiving info on 30 minute delay in Nags Head of NJ can be so much more frustrating than getting it in real time like I am able to here in the hospital.
And, of course, despite the incredible love and care they have shown and continue to show us, we are NOT the center of the universe all day every day for the rest of our family. They all have their own lives, their own spouses and kids and jobs and all the rest to continue on with. And, over the course of just the past few months, as we've been living in the hospital, nearly every single one of their own family units have experienced some form of crises or major life-change of their own.
Tricia and I have spent hours praying for the rest of our family just as they have spent praying for us. I have cried many times thinking about some of the tests and journeys that God is leading them through, some of which are being resolved, and some of which are still up in the air, knowing that we are unable to do for them all that they have done for us because we are confined to the hospital. I have felt deep heartache for Tricia's father and my parents and our siblings who I know would love to be here with us more than they are able, just as I have felt burdened for Agnes as she has sacrificed so much of her own life to be here with us full-time.
But, the gratefulness far outweighs the burdens, knowing and literally feeling how our family is all caring for each other as we take this journey together. Even though we are family, and even though we would do the same for them if needed and possible, the understanding and patience they have shown us, as we have both been literally unable to function as we normally do, is totally amazing.
I want to express more...to really tell everyone just how awesome our family is. But, I think, no matter how much I say or write, I will always feel there is more to say and write.
So, simply, thank you to our family. You mean more to us than you'll ever know and can express. We love each of you and cannot wait to spend time with you after we get out of the hospital.