THANKFUL TENDER TUESDAY

This morning, as I was taking down one of my trees, something grabbed my attention.  I actually walked to the window and listened. There around my bird feeder was a beautiful gathering of birds. Some were eating, and some were perched on the railing of my deck singing their little hearts out. It brought a smile to my face. And right there and then, my heart felt happy. Little did I know that the smile I wore on my face would make more appearances later on in the day.

I have a mentally ill Grandson.  He is twenty-six years old. My grandson is very handsome with the bluest of blue eyes.  Sometimes he needs to be in the hospital and sometimes he is home trying to work things out. I have seen him at his best, and I have seen him at his worse. None the less, I love him beyond words.

This afternoon, I took him shopping for some new clothes. He was having a good day.  A better than good day, it was a day, that brought back memories of him when he was younger before his many diagnoses, before the voices, and way before the highs and lows.

I was so pleased with him at the store. Together we shopped for jeans, dress pants and shirts, gym shorts, and a belt. We laughed at a few silly things and had great conversations.  He chose nice things, and I must admit he has good taste.  As we left the store, he thanked me for taking him.  On the way home, we talked some more. I cannot begin to tell you, dear readers, how happy I was for him. He had a clear mind.  And, although, we were only in the store for about an hour, I saw a happy young man. If only this happiness and feeling good about himself would last. I pray it does; however, I am realistic enough to know that it is a daily struggle for him.

Each morning and throughout the day, I pray for my grandson. I ask God for strength for him. Strength to be able to endure the bad days and for a grateful heart for the good days.  He knows that I am committed to walking on this journey with him.  Giving up is not an option. I know that it is essential to be positive with him. But I also hold him accountable for his actions and attitude.

He knows that if he needs a ride to his doctor, or even to return to the hospital, I will be there. The last time, he needed help, He and I walked arm in arm, through the doors to the place where he would have the opportunity to get well again.

I have learned a lot from this journey. It never ceases to amaze me the number of young men and women, and those of all ages who are dealing with a form of mental illness.  My grandson is very important to me, and I will never stop loving him, encouraging him, and reaching my hand out to him.  I am grateful for the love of this precious young man.

Mental illness is a disease that is growing among children, teens, adults, and seniors. We as a country need to do more to help those beautiful hearts be all they can be, live a productive life and understand what is available to them. We need more doctors, more facilities, and more support for family members. God created us all. We are all different. But we can all find a way to help.  Did you know that many of our homeless suffer from forms of mental illness?  Did you know that many of them are our military men and women? What can you do to help?