Thanksgiving in a Bathtub

bath-time-with-a-hound-0071

Imagine my husband’s surprise when I asked him to run upstairs and snap a picture of Chloe and I.  Surprised, because as he put it, “Your hair is wet and your make-up is gone“.  Actually he may have said, “Your face is gone (like the transplanted southern boy that he is), but I think the look on my face when I asked him to repeat what he said, made him change what came out of his mouth!

I’m a brave person, aren’t I?  (Brave… or very, very tired)  I like to “capture the moment” when I decide to blog about something.  “Thanksgiving in a Bathtub”.

Don’t you love Thanksgiving?  This year, I tried something new.  Each member of the family had to bring a list to the Thanksgiving table of things they were thankful for… the number equaling their age.  I might should have thought that through before announcing my idea, as hubby and I had to come up with over 40 “thankfuls“.  The reality?  It wasn’t hard.  We were all amused to see that everyone listed FACEBOOK as a “thankful for” item.  But throughout the meal and our discussion, we agreed that really we should be thankful more often.

There is simply no better way to improve your attitude, than by listing your “thankfuls”.  We all decided to find opportunities more frequently, to find “listing moments”.  I found one tonight in the bathtub.

I had been reminding Chloe we were “headed to the tub” for over an hour.  She continued to bump my arm to remind me that we should head there.  I don’t think she’s is really that crazy about seeing me behind a mountain of bubbles (especially if she has a long enough memory to recall that first one), but she is rather fond of “ditching” the 14 month old puppy for awhile.

So with Chloe relaxing without a puppy chewing on her hind foot, and me sunk neck-deep in a mountain of bubbles, I decided to “list my thankfuls” for the day.  Top of my list for today was my wonderful church, DCC, my family, and my patient hound who is also my ears and “steady brace”.  But I found myself adding, “being allowed to pray for someone new”.  Small thing THAT to most of you I reckon!  But do you know something?

When you acquire a disability later in life, there is nothing quite so wonderful as discovering you still MATTER.  That you can make a difference… even in a “small” sort of way!  I asked someone if I could pray for them, and they replied, “yes… absolutely”.  I found myself listing that as a “thankful”.

In not hearing well, it’s not like I can pick up a phone and encourage someone with a “howdy”, “whatcha doin’?” or “yes men are idiots” verbal commiseration.  I can’t run to a local coffee shop in order to “talk about everything and nothing” as it takes a lot of patience to deal with my confused expression and request for a repeat.  I can’t even stand around church after the services, and agree with a fellow mom, “YES!  My teens are giving me gray hair!”  Because… what they really said is, “having tenure is really rare!”  (This really happened… grin.  A teacher was bemoaning how difficult it was… and here I thought she was talking about how difficult TEENS are!  Grimace…)

So imagine the PRIVILEGE, the JOY, to be reminded you can make a difference with a prayer!

I found myself thinking in that tub full of bubbles.  Not just listing “thankfuls” either, nor wondering if in twenty years I’ll resemble the water-wrinkled skin I still idly scrubbed at with my sponge.  What a difference it would make if every person — no matter their disability — could discover one small thing that they could do that MATTERED… to SOMEONE… SOMEWHERE.

Perhaps it’s because I go to a support group once a month of people who no longer hear well… or hear at all.  They want to make a difference.  They know they still can.  One lady can cook so well that she makes Betty Crocker hang her head in shame. She brings mouth-watering, waist-altering goodies to every meeting.  One plays the guitar… beautifully, and she blesses others with her music.  One simply emails the rest of us often as her hearing loss is also coupled with an extreme form of Meniere’s disease.  She doesn’t get out of the house much really.  Yet, her words and encourgement travel more “miles” than any one of us ever attempts by car.

I go to training 3-4 times a month with Chloe at Fidos For Freedom.  She loves the interaction with her trainers and “buddies”, and I love the interaction with people who are clients and therapy dog teams.  I love to see new clients realizing for the first time, the independence their new partner will give them.  Independence to do “normal” life things, in order to help them find ways to make that difference… to SOMEONE… SOMEWHERE.  Chloe has given me confidence in ways that is difficult for others to understand.

I trust her alerts.  I trust her knowing “what I need to hear”.  I trust her steady brace on stairs, and her quick retrieve of dropped items.  I don’t “sweat the small stuff” anymore because she covers all of that for me.  It frees me up to re-discover the emotional high of investing myself in some small way for another.  That’s something I was unable to do prior to my “match”.  Thanksgiving can happen in a bathtub.  Choose to be thankful… even if it isn’t in a mountain of bubbles!

Denise Portis

© 2008 Hearing Loss Journal

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2 thoughts on “Thanksgiving in a Bathtub

  1. Being thankful leads to contentment… Amen.

    I love that you pray for others, something I’m trying to cultivate in my boys, and – more and more – in myself. I admit I want to be in control, but as the saying goes, “When I work, I work. When I pray, God works.” Your prayers MATTER. Your willingness to pray for others matters a LOT.

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