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BY COLUMNISTS

| Joe Charlebois | Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Norman M. Covert | Hayden Duke | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Edward Lulie III | Tom McLaughlin | Patricia Price | Cindy A. Rose | Richard B. Weldon Jr. | Brooke Winn |

DOCUMENTS


The Tentacle


December 11, 2005

Christmas Blessings

Tom McLaughlin

Dad came home from the rehab center a few days ago. I picked him up after a month's stay. The doctors and rehab people said if I hadn't acted so quickly by calling the paramedics and then getting him to rehab, the consequences would have been much worse. I give all glory to HIM, as I get kind of soppy around Christmas time.

The rehab person, about 14 - or so it seemed, gave us a walker. She adjusted the height especially for Dad and we practiced with it out in the hall for a few yards.

"Never, ever, let him move around without it," she informed me sternly. "Always remind him to walk heel to toe," she also emphasized.

I nodded as if I was taking directions from a wizened expert instead of a 12-year-old. Or was it 14? They all seem so young now that I am well....the rehab center is a Christmas blessing.

We got home and all were glad to see him; especially the puppy. Dad moved around with the walker for about the first half-day and that was it. He refused to use the thing and it now sits in the living room.

Dad can hobble very well without it and I occasionally remind him "heel toe, heel toe, as he walks." I guess I will train the ivy around it come spring. I thought I would donate it to the American Legion, but they already have about seven. It's a blessing the legion has them and they are not needed.

We have settled in nicely. Dad heads for the recliner. I usually hate the Maryland Public Television fund drive as it interrupts my British comedies; but this time they had a series playing the music from the 30's, '40, '50's and 60's. Paul Anka, I think, sang the Sinatra hits "New York New York" and "My Way" and a few others. We sang along. I had long forgotten the words, truth be told; never knew them, but that didn't matter. Another Christmas blessing.

Mom remains bed ridden except for those radiation treatments. We have missed a few and I would like to cancel the procedure all together. The doctors promised that they would reduce the tumor in the lung and make it easier for her to breath. Not true.

Then we have something scary called congestive heart failure. Our heart doctor is a product of the 60's and she still dresses as if she is still there. She is up on all the medicines, though.

I like her a lot as she really cares for her patients. You can tell as she holds their hand, or pats a knee and sits close. She seems to have a laptop attached to her; but that goes away when talking to mom or me. She is another Christmas blessing.

The puppy has quit getting me up at 2 and 4 in the morning after I had trained her to visit the outdoors. We walk around the neighborhood at 10 and then I get up at six, my usual arising time. When Dad awakes around 9 A. M., they are inseparable in the recliner. He sneaks her food contrary to the admonishments of the vet. Another Christmas blessing.

I hope you have started counting your blessings and look at bad situations in a new light.

The blessings may be hidden, but an angel is tapping you on the shoulder asking you to see thing differently, as the wise men did, so long ago, away in a manger.



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