Friday, November 2, 2012

be honest, be kind.

It seems that the challenges never stop coming. On top of this diagnosis, on top of the need to completely pack up and move from one extreme environment to the other, I am also now dealing with a blow to my plans. Something deeply personal and life altering. Something I will be sharing more about as I grow to understand it better and trust myself to say the right things. Right now, I am angry. Hurt, annoyed, let down and so incredibly disappointed that I ever let myself get into this position in the first place.

Yet, I have a gazillion things to be thankful for.

During this month of thanks, I considered joining the Facebook hype of daily status updates to remind myself of that. After more consideration, I wont be participating.

More than ever, my perfect life is not so perfect anymore. While there are far more moments of gratitude than there are of the tiny glimpes of envy and sometimes even bitterness, something about this experience has caused me to look at people and the world in a completely different light. It is a way of viewing the world that you will never experience until you are the parent of a sick child. It is like belonging to some secret club, where everybody is happy to be in good company, but nobody really wants to belong. It is not a dark view, just....different.

So when I see people posting that they are thankful for their healthy children (and I am more than thankful for mine) and being thankful for their flawless marriage, I can't help but feel a sting. I hate feeling that way, I am not a jealous person. I am thankful too for their healthy children, I am thankful that they have found loving relationships. I am glad that they realize how close we all are to being thrown into this "secret club" of special needs, surgeries, hearts stitched together, and long long hours at the hospital.

But here, is where my view changes. I now see the world from a place of smaller milestones. Where things insignificant and taken for granted, are worthy of celebration. I can't say that I am thankful that my baby is healthy. but I am thankful for each kick. I am thankful for modern medicine. I am drenched in gratitude for the medical staff that caught this condition now, instead of later.

So, this is how I came to realize that posting continuous updates about all of the things wonderful in my life (there are still so many) can hurt other people that are now a part of my special little world.

Instead of this, I will be challenging myself to bring thanks and joy to others. One random act of kindness, every single day. This might be a challenge, as we are strapped for money right now and Eldon and I don't often leave the house. I might make up for it by getting a few done at once. Either way, this challenge starts today. Hopefully we can make a guest appearance in somebody elses status update. Hopefully they will be thankful for US.

Enjoy this season. We all have so much to appreciate. We are all so incredibly blessed.