Welcome to our blog! I originally started this blog in November 2010 just prior to having a major brain surgery to remove a large bleeding cavernous angioma from a deep part of my brain. You can best understand the gravity of our experience by reading the first several entries.(Nov 2010-Dec 2010) I wrote the first one and my sweet, adoring husband, John, wrote the next several (while I was too sick to do much of anything) that documented surgery, immediate recovery, and our reaction to the surgery complication (stroke)that was revealed 2 days after surgery. This recovery process has been difficult but we are making it. We appreciate all the kind words of encouragement we have received and we would like to thank everyone that has participated in helping us along this difficult journey. Also, if you have any questions about my personal experience, please leave them as a comment or contact me directly at thankfulforeveryday@yahoo.com and I will respond although I am not a doctor and this is not a replacement for medical care or advise. Please ask a real professional, or probably several. :) I hope to be able to help at least one person along the challenging road of brain surgery and recovery.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


It is with much sadness that I share the tragic loss of my sweet, loving, kind, witty, amazing sister Natalie Ann. We lost her a little over a week ago on Saturday, 7/27/13. Life will never be the same for our family.

This is what I tried to say at her memorial. I am so sad, it barely came out of my mouth and I'm not sure the words were audible between my sobs of despair...but I tried! Natalie we miss you and love you forever!!

In early 1983 I was an 8 year old girl. I was the “baby” of the family for as long as I knew, and I was happy in my role. But my mom told me life would change in 9 months time and there would be a new baby in the house. I was devastated at first, but my mom gently explained that I would always be her “baby” and soon our family would have more love to share. With me being completely obsessed with all things baby(For those of you that do not know me, I have always been and still am obsessed with babies. My dolls were the only toys that mattered). I was easily convinced that a new baby was just what we needed. The idea became more and more exciting with each passing month. My mom’s belly grew full with a perfect baby girl growing inside. We would read books and look at pictures of how “our baby” was developing inside. We would feel her kick and watch her move every night. I was completely enthralled. I could hardly wait for the big day when we could bring our baby home. I thought, “Wow, we get a real baby to cuddle, feed, and change.” My dolls weren’t nearly as fun as a real baby would be…I was sure! On November first 1983 it was a crisp morning, and the baby was finally coming. On the way to the hospital the sky was filled with the most amazing rainbow you have ever seen. It was a sign! The heavens were smiling down and illuminating to announce our precious angel Natalie Ann had arrived as a gift from God! She was the most beautiful, perfect baby I have ever seen and our family was now complete...it's so broken now. Over the years, I took great pride in loving and caring for my baby sister with all my heart. I wanted to help with everything. Everywhere we went people stopped us to look at and touch our "Gerber baby". As the years passed Natalie would sometimes complain that she felt she had 3 mothers and no sisters. While that made me sad, Juliet and I were so much older, I could understand her sentiment. No matter how she felt, I always loved her to pieces. I wanted the best for her. She grew into a smart, sensitive, witty, hard working, funny, kind, and amazing woman. With all she had going for her, I was certain she would find her way even as she seemed to struggle at times. I really thought she would work it out to live her dreams. I am devastated that she felt so hopeless and has left us prematurely. She wasn’t finished. There is so much more to life than she got to experience. My heart is broken and there is a piece missing that only she can fill. Dearest Natalie, please know how much you mean to us, how much you are loved, how sorry we are that we couldn’t help you, and know you are missed deeply until we meet again.


  1. Elizabeth, I am so sorry for the loss of your little sister. I can't imagine how hard this is for you. Thinking of you.

  2. The slide show was lovely, and so were your words. She was a very beautiful young woman.

    1. Thanks Crystal! This is really hard, I have almost zero experience at dealing with death, especially with the passing of a loved one so close.

    2. Elizabeth I am so sorry for your loss. You & yours are in our thoughts & prayers during this difficult time.

  3. Elizabeth, I'm so sorry. You're in my thoughts.

  4. Elizabeth,

    I am so sorry for your loss. We lost my "baby" brother eleven years ago. It was sudden and shocking even though he had struggled his whole life. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Love, Alyson

  5. Elizabeth,

    I am so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful & loved sister.
    May you & your family find peace & soothing comfort during your grieving. Hold onto the good & happy memories of Natalie Ann.


  6. Oh wow Elizabeth I'm so so sorry. As if you aren't dealing with enough. I'm sorry.

  7. I'm just reading this now, but please know that I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I'm sure your grief goes on. Please be assured of my prayers for you!