Ten days ago, my family experienced a life changing event: my father suffered a stroke. Now, thank the Lord, things are slowly returning to normal (although you could make an argument we weren't all that normal to begin with), but it's amazing how you measure progress.
Sometime I will tell you about how Daddy was completely and utterly himself throughout the ordeal (which meant even in the throes of a stroke, he was still laugh out loud funny), but things I've never even thought about I take for granted.
For example, eating. Being able to hold a slice of bread in your left hand and use it to move your food around is a BIG deal. Trust me on this one. A week ago, Daddy was released from the hospital. That first night home, he tried to eat. We stuck a dishrag in his lap because a napkin wasn't big enough. He couldn't hold anything with his left hand. He would try to pick up bread and his hand-eye coordination was off. He couldn't hold anything, even when you put it in his hand. It was painful to watch your father, whom you have seen as a powerful figure your entire life, be reduced to being fed with a fork by you.
And the left side of his face was paralyzed. This meant that he would "hide" vast amounts of food in his cheek. We were in constant fear that he would not chew his food well and choke or that he would not feel the food there and leave it in there. Mealtimes required extra vigilance.
Even though we put on brave faces for the visitors and well wishers, it was hard. We heard the doctors say that he would get better, but had doubts.
Fast forward to this morning. Eating breakfast with toast, there sits my father, holding his toast in his left hand. Again, this miracle had previously gone unnoticed in our household until this week. Not only that, he could bite and chew without needing assistance from us.
This morning I learned that God works in all kinds of ways. He does send us hope. This morning, He sent it one bite at a time.