Sunday, November 17, 2019

Thankful Author 2019- Mona Sedrak

What am I most grateful for this season? Unexpected gifts and God's grace. 

Twenty months ago my husband and I moved across the country from NJ to OH to live near our daughter and be a part of our first grand-child's life. The change was huge, and my husband retired, we sold our home, and bought a new one, and I found a new job. All wonderful blessings. We were ready to start this new chapter finally living next to one of our children and enjoying our grand-child––then life happened.

A few months ago, I was diagnosed with a rare neurological autoimmune disease and liver disease that has changed all our lives. The disease is multi-faceted and unpredictable. In a few months, I lost my independence, mobility, energy, and so much more. Often, I am so exhausted, all I can do is cry as my husband picks me up from work, helps me change, and tucks me gently in bed. He cooks, cleans, does the grocery shopping, takes care of our animals, and caters to my every need. Never did we see this as his retirement life. 

My daughter, Laura, and son-in-law, Mina, are a few miles away, and daily, they check up on me, helping around the house, cooking, cleaning, and making me smile when I feel I have nothing to smile about. They bring, baby Juliette over so my world is filled with sunshine even in the dark, and I can find the strength to go through one more day. I am beyond grateful to live so close to them. I never imagined this was how my first stint at being a grandma would go. I thought I would pick up the baby often, play, cook, and take her on adventures. God had other plans.

My daughter, Samantha, although at a distance, and my new son-in-law, Greg, call daily. They are newlyweds, and the love they share makes me smile and gives me hope for the future. Samantha tells me about her day and shares stories about her cooking escapades. I smile and forget the pain and that I am stuck and cannot travel to see her by myself, as I would have a few short months ago. My world has changed, but I thank God the love of my daughter has not.

I have friends and colleagues that are so incredibly kind. They open doors for me, encourage me to eat, smile, tell me to go home when I look like I'm about to drop, and pick up the slack for me when I cannot make it to a meeting or finish a project. I am overwhelmed by their kindness and generosity. They never complain and always call and check on me. 

The saying, "Man plans, God laughs," may be true, but I believe God is also generous and kind, and his lessons may be hard, but they are worth learning. So my life today is not as I had planned two years ago, but my blessings are multiplied. This year, I am grateful for ALL God has given me. I thank him for my loving and caring husband, my daughters and sons and their loving ways, and my friends and colleagues that lighten my load and make me smile. I am remarkably blessed. Although my body is weak, my spirit is strong because of my faith and the village of people who care for me. 

This Thanksgiving, look around your table and be thankful for each and every item and person your gaze falls on. Life is short, my friends, and completely unpredictable. Don't put off being happy or being grateful.

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  1. Your post (and message) brought tears to my eyes, Mona. Plans can be made, but life--God delivers another agenda, right? May you continue to keep your spirit strong. Your family is amazing! Sending healing thoughts with hugs out to you.

  2. What a beautiful but sad post-- to hear of your illness. But your positive outlook, and hope and faith are so strong they come shining through your words, and through your life. You are blessed to have such caring family and friends around you who support you. Your words of thanks inspire & remind us all to be thankful for all those people & things that could disappear tomorrow. Remember, as God might laugh at our man-made plans, He also listens to prayers and sends miracles when we least expect them. Prayers go out for all of you, and for miracles of faith & healing for you. Thank you for your honesty & courage. -- Christine Samuelson

  3. Mona, such a brave and beautiful post, full of courage and the determination see the best. I stand in awe of your spirit, and am so glad for the wonderful family you have around you. It's easy to be grateful in the good times, a challenge when the hard times come. That, I must think, is the measure of a valiant soul.

  4. You are an amazing and strong soul, my dear! this will not get you down, I know it. The love and support of your family and friends is wonderful, yes, but your determination and beautiful spirit are what i am thankful for as you are guided through this time. Please know I pray for you daily and will continue to do so. Keep your light bright and let it shine. God Bless you and your family now, and always.

  5. What a lovely post, Mona. I am so sorry for the changes in your life. You are a strong woman. You see the good in your life, and you are surrounded by loving and caring people. How fortunate. I wish you all the best and I hope your body heals. Be well.

  6. Dealing with such an illness must be very difficult, but you seem to have a good outlook. Thank goodness for your loving family and friends. Take care and God bless.

  7. I'm amazed by your strength and the ability to find the positives in everyday life. You are strong and you are loved by so many. I wish you continued blessings today and always.