Re­mem­ber to be thank­ful

Record Observer - - Opinion -

This past week’s hol­i­day al­ways of­fers a good time to re­flect and think about what we’re thank­ful for. This year I was strug­gling a lit­tle bit, and the list didn’t come quite as eas­ily as it has in the past. But, then again, it’s al­ways easy to be thank­ful in the good times; it’s not so easy to be thank­ful when times are a lit­tle bit tougher. I’ve learned that those are the times we re­ally need to re-eval­u­ate and re­al­ize just how very blessed we are.

So, I thought about it and started re­ally list­ing the things I am thank­ful for the most. Turns out what I have that I am thank­ful for can’t be mea­sured on a spread­sheet or found in my bank ac­count — things that can­not be eas­ily re­placed, but that have sig­nif­i­cant and ir­re­place­able value. I’m more for­tu­nate than I knew.

Thanks­giv­ing night I heard from a good friend, she wasn’t feel­ing well and wasn’t sure what was go­ing on un­til the next day after fol­low­ing up with her doc­tor. She was taken from the emer­gency room to a facility in Philadel­phia where she was di­ag­nosed with a very large brain tu­mor. She is eight years younger than I am. I was shocked and im­me­di­ately over­come by a sense of sad­ness for her.

I was said not just be­cause that is the type of dev­as­tat­ing news, that no one ever wants to hear, but be­cause she’s a mom of two small chil­dren and the thing she is most wor­ried about right now is mak­ing sure that this Christ­mas still goes by with as lit­tle dis­rup­tion to their sched­ule as pos­si­ble and that noth­ing takes away their ex­cite­ment.

Of course, as she is any­way pretty much the type to im­me­di­ately take con­trol of the situation, she was very quickly (with the help of a team of amaz­ing doc­tors) able to or­ches­trate a plan from her hos­pi­tal room, and I have no doubt that her de­ter­mi­na­tion will work greatly in her stead. But what amazed me most was the in­cred­i­ble at­ti­tude and strength she found in this un­be­liev­ably scary and un­known situation.

She was hon­est, and she kicked and screamed and got mad, but then she pulled her­self to­gether and found her strength in her fam­ily and in her faith. When it would seem like she had ev­ery rea­son to be un­thank­ful, this woman found some very good rea­sons to give thanks and in do­ing so set an in­cred­i­ble stan­dard for the rest of her friends and fam­ily to fol­low through this very try­ing time.

Life sel­dom works out how we ex­pect it to, if any­thing it’s more pre­dictable for the curve­balls that it’s likely to throw at us. I don’t know what you might be go­ing through this sea­son. The hol­i­days are a hard time of year for many, and it can be even harder for the ones that are strug­gling when it seems like ev­ery­one else is mak­ing merry and hav­ing the best of times. We need to look out for those fel­low hu­mans and make sure they don’t get swept along and over­looked in this busiest time of year.

No mat­ter what it is you are fac­ing know this, you’ll get through this. Go with grace.

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