Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Sometimes it's hard, when things aren't going as well as you would like, to remember just how lucky you are. When your aches and pains and ailments seem to keep piling up on top of one another, it's hard to step back and say to yourself, "Hey. I woke up today. I have a roof over my head. I have food to eat. I have the strength to get out of bed, play with my kids who are healthy and happy, cook dinner for my family, and maybe even run some errands. My back may hurt, and I may not have the energy I did 20 years ago, my life may not be perfect, but I am still blessed beyond measure to have this day." It's all too easy to lose sight of all the blessings that you have, and focus on what you think is missing.


My uncle is in the hospital right now. He has severe COPD and also suffered a heart attack. He was on and off a ventilator and in a propofol induced coma for several days. He has only in the last couple of days been transferred to a step down room and is able to breathe on his own. But because he was unable to breathe and deprived of oxygen for some time, there is also concern about neurological involvement. And of course, how the COPD will continue to affect him in the future. Thankfully he is improving, but for several days, it was truly one day at a time.

My mother and father have friends that they have known since childhood. Friends that, long after graduating high school in 1968 and 1969, remain in close contact. Bill and his wife Sherry are two of those friends. Sherry had a stroke several years ago, but with a lot of work and rehab, she had managed to get well. She had another massive stroke this past Sunday, July 14th. She was declared brain dead and removed from life support the next day. This morning, after a week of lying in a hospital room, slowly dying, Sherry passed away.

A man that I graduated high school with, who is 39 years old, was diagnosed two years ago with cancer. He was initially given a good prognosis by his doctors and was confident that, with chemo and surgery, he would win the battle against cancer. He and his wife were so confident in fact, that they decided to have another baby, a son, who is now not yet a year old. But the chemo didn't shrink the cancer like they had hoped. And surgery somewhere along the line was no longer an option. And now he is in a hospital room, with Stage IV cancer, not only battling the disease, but also the long list of complications that have arisen to accompany it. He wakes up grateful for each new day that he has to spend with his wife and sons, because there is no guarantee that another day will come.

The truth is, none of us are guaranteed another day. Whether we are in the best shape of our lives, or battling a terminal disease, there simply is no guarantee of another day. So while it is all too easy to get sucked up into a "woe is me" attitude because you don't feel well or money is tight these days or something didn't work out the way you'd hoped, it is important to put your life into perspective and count your blessings. You should live every day as if it were your last day, because there's no guarantee that it won't be. Today I am alive. My children are healthy and happy. I have already had a lion's share of hugs and kisses and "I Love You"s today. My husband is safe and not in a warzone. My son is distraught because he doesn't have any pixie dust to make him fly. And my daughter is...reorganizing...every dvd we own. Thank you, Lord, for your many blessings. My cup runneth over.


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