Important to be grateful for your blessings

Hello, residents and friends of Naperville. Thank you all for your kind words of support and encouragement regarding my wife Pat’s bone cancer diagnosis. I’m happy to report that Pat is resting comfortably at home after spending three weeks at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton.

She is learning how to stand and walk again with the help of a walker. All we can say is that Marianjoy has been a blessing in our lives. Everyone was helpful, caring and attentive to Pat and all of the patients at the facility.

We met many people from Naperville and surrounding areas at Marianjoy who were learning to walk again, regain mobility in their arms and legs and relearn how to speak following a stroke. Pat and I understand and appreciate now more than ever how many people are going through rough times and how amazing the caregivers to these people are.

Pat remarked to me that at times you can feel a bit sorry for yourself not being able to walk, but when you see someone with artificial limbs or no limbs at all, it changes your perspective and makes you appreciate what you do have.

To all the caregivers who toil tirelessly day in and day out, including balancing the demands of day-to-day life with the health and wellness needs of those in your care, I commend and salute you. Thank you for all you do to help make life a little more comfortable for your loved ones.

Speaking of health care, I had the privilege to address a wonderful group of nurses at Edward Hospital during Nursing Leadership Day on March 19. I was so impressed to see this group focus on maintaining its high quality of outstanding care provided to patients while also taking time to learn about relevant research updates and review patient interaction rules and regulations.

It helped me realize that nursing is not an easy profession, and we are blessed to have so many outstanding individuals who have dedicated their lives to this calling.

I also had the honor of attending the Community Radio Watch appreciation dinner recently. As I sat in a room filled with residents who give freely of their time to patrol the city in their own personal vehicles using their own gas to look for anything out of the ordinary, I was filled with respect for them. They are the ones who help make this city an even safer place to live, and considering we were recently named the fourth safest mid-sized city in America, I think they’re doing a wonderful job. If this type of volunteer work sounds exciting to you, please contact Sgt. Mark Ksiazek at 630-305-5477.

In keeping with my theme of “thanks” this month, I want to also thank all of those who have the interest and take the time to run for public office. It takes a special person to want to do what is right for their community and listen with open ears and an open mind to those who don’t share their views. Please take time to thank those who ran for different offices in the recent primary election.

I will admit that I was disappointed with the low turnout for the election. I truly wish that all people would exercise our hard-earned right to vote and dialogue with elected officials about what they feel would make their community a better place to live, work and play. I’ve always said we need to agree to disagree without being disagreeable, and that is especially important in the realm of politics.

Spring is finally upon us (even despite the late-March snow), and after the winter we have experienced, I am truly grateful for this season of rebirth. I look forward to a beautiful summer in Naperville. See you on the Riverwalk or at a Naperville Municipal Band concert.