Monday, November 17, 2008

Countdown, part 3: Big thanks

As I blogged about on September 2nd and October 2nd, we're approaching the second anniversary of The Engineer's brain surgery on January 2nd. I've gotten off-track on my 2nd-day-of-the-month postings on this topic, but life lessons don't always happen on a schedule.

Last week one of the fellow moms in my local playgroup lost her husband to a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lung.) At an age far too young, she is a widow. Her daughter will be three in December, and her daddy is gone. I don't know them well, but my heart aches for them.

I keep thinking, "I could have gone through all of this." About a month after The Engineer's surgery, he woke up in the middle of the night with chest pain. At the ER he was diagnosed with pneumonia, which was causing the pain. It was the most fortuitous case of pneumonia we'd ever heard of, as their examination also revealed a pulmonary embolism. Had it not been for the pain from the pneumonia, the clot might have traveled to his brain, and I might have been a widow, with a fatherless daughter.

I knew that intellectually, but it struck me more deeply this week. Twice in a short period of time, God, in his infinite yet unexplainable grace, kept my husband alive, despite a brain abscess and a blood clot. A few months after that intense time, I was pregnant, and soon my completely healthy husband and I had a second child. Life went on. And gradually the miracle of that simple fact--life went on--lost most of its luster.

I don't know why this other dear woman lost her husband when I didn't. And I know there are no certainties for tomorrow, and next year, and the years after that.

But I know how grateful I am. Last month I talked about being grateful for everyday things. Today I'm reminded to be grateful for the BIG things, the things I take for granted, the things I forget could have been gone two years ago and aren't guaranteed to be here tomorrow.

So, God, thank you.

Thank you for my husband, who I love and am in love with.

Thank you for my healthy, beautiful daughter.

Thank you for my healthy, adorable son.

Thank you for parents and siblings and grandparents who enrich my life.

And the one thing that can't be taken away--thank you, God, for your Son Jesus and His life, in me.

That's the big stuff. However long I'm here, and however long I've got this beautiful family, may I not forget to be deeply grateful.

23 comments:

Sasha said...

I remember that all so well- that was how we "met"! Your story/journey touched my heart. What a great family you have. I really wish we were a bit closer- I know we'd be good IRL friends.

Becky said...

Oh, how sad for your playgroup friend and her daughter. I lost my dad at age 4, and I can't even describe what it's like to grow up without a father. It's my worst nightmare that my kids will have to go through that.

I am so happy for you that your husband's story had a happy ending. That is so much for a young couple to go through.

tracyellen said...

I just started reading your blog a couple of weeks ago, but this is my first comment.

Thank you. I needed to read this today. After a horrible night with a screaming baby, I needed a reminder to be grateful for my family.

Simplicity said...

Your family is so beautiful! Your appreciation for them is even more beautiful.

I'm sorry to hear about the lady in your playgroup. It's awful when a life is lost and even more so when it's at such a critical age with a wide-spread impact.

Enjoy your days! (And use a pair of thinning shears to lop off the ends of your son's adorable hair if you don't want to just chop off a huge chunk!)

C. Beth said...

Sasha--I remember "meeting" you through that too--I remember your love and support! Thank you! :) I wish we lived closer too. :(

Becky--I didn't know that, and I am so sorry you had to grow up without your father. The Engineer lost his father when he (The Engineer) was 25. Even that seemed unjust; seeing a small child lose a father is just unthinkable.

Tracyellen--Oh, I'm so glad! I get so caught up in the crazy everyday stuff with being a mommy, too--the nights without enough sleep being one of those things! Hopefully next time I have one of those nights I'll remember gratitude too...we'll see. :)

Simmplicity--Thank you so much for your kind words! And thinning shears...great idea. I guess I could get those at a beauty supply store?

Tabby @ ♥I Choose Bliss♥ said...

Your love for your family is beautifully awe inspiring!

mevsmysoul said...

Reading your posts have always impressed upon me that you have one HAPPY FAMILY:)

Reading today's post I feel that life is not hunky and dory always and we all have to undergo our share of grief and misries. We should be thankful to the Lord for ALL the BIG and SMALL blessings that he bestows upon us now and then.

Such an inspiring post!

So true that we should count our blessings than our troubles.

Chris Bowers said...

God is good!!!

C. Beth said...

Tabby--Thank you.

Mevs my soul--You're right; there aren't any perfect lives! But mine is very, very good, and I'm so blessed to be at a happy point right now.

Chris--Oh, yes, he is!

Becca said...

I can not believe its been that long. I had just met you then. We prayed for your family daily. I am so happy he is healthy. I am so sorry for your friend. That is heartbreaking. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help her.

C. Beth said...

Becca--Time flies, doesn't it?! Thank you for the offer to help her--I'll let you know if I hear of something. And thank you for the prayers...way back when!

Jenners said...

Thanks for an inspiring post. Just last night I had a profound "attack" of contentment, gratitude and peace while washing the dishes and just saw with such clarity how much I love my little family. It is easy to forget "the big things" in the every day hustle and bustle of life.

Our Scoop said...

Beth,
That is so very very sad. I am so sorry for your friend. I will keep her in my prayers.

I cannot imagine all that you and Jason went through during this time. Praise God that they found this in time!

I am kind of in "wow" mode from this post and not writing very well what I'm thinking...

Love-
Karen

Mike Fan said...

Wow Beth. An amazing story. I'm so glad your family made it through this crisis together! Congratulations for the happy outcome. All the best!

Mike
http://365Sonnets.blogspot.com
http://SomeTurbidNight.blogspot.com
http://VoglioTempo.blogspot.com

Mama to a diva said...

Your post today was amazing. It made me cry. It also made me count my blessings, the big and the small. Thanks.

Simplicity said...

Hi Beth,

I actually bought my thinning shears at WalMart. Just check in the area with hair accessories. It's great because it takes away from the nervousness of holding scissors up to a baby's little head!

Have a fabulous night!

Inkpot said...

Last week my brother in law died suddenly. He was only 56. He lives in another country with my sister and I had never got around to meeting him. Life is so short and death is so sudden. It makes you look at the little plans you have and makes you realise that they don't matter. Love, loved ones, God - these are the things that matter, as you pointed out.

Michelle Brunner said...

I am so glad things worked out with your family. You have such a beautiful family! Thanks for the reminder...sometimes we get so tied up in everyday things and forgot to appreciate what is really important.

Dina Maas said...

Thank you for this post. It is a needed reminder to always be grateful for the time we have with our loved ones. A little over a year ago, I was given the gift of being able to spend the last days of my dad's life with my family at his side. While he was still strong enough, he encouraged my brothers and I to never take our spouses and children for granted and that we should choose our battles wisely. Sometimes in the everyday normalcy of life, I forget that advise until I'm reminded by a memory, a feeling or by something like your blog. We can't always understand why God grants healing to some and others He takes from this earth too soon in our perspective. But, we can be grateful "in the moment" and confident that He saves all that accept His saving grace. That certainty has brought much comfort in times that are difficult to understand. Sorry this comment got so wordy....

Dan & Hillary and little Russell said...

David Jeremiah (Turning Point) is doing a series right now on thankfulness and the story of the ten lepers and how only one returned to say thank-you to Jesus. Wake-up call for me. Thank-you for sharing your story, too:-)

foreverfoldinglaundry said...

Wow. I'm so glad God is in charge! Great testimony you have.

Kristi said...

Thank you for reminding me yet again to not take "life" for granted! Each and every day I have with my family and friends is a blessing. I'm going to go and call Tom at work now and tell him how much I appreciate him! :)

Joanne Sher said...

Our lives are so parallel, my new "bloggy friend." My husband had brain surgery, also followed by a pulmonary embolism a couple months later. Our road is longer, but I know from where you come. Thank you for pointing me here.