I’ve had a lot of time in the last week or two to think. Having my hand so swollen and painful has kept me sidelined, sitting in a chair for several days, not only unable to participate in life as I usually do, but also not knowing why. It could be Lyme disease, or it could be a bite, or it could be an infection. Treatment has been s l o w l y effective, and after 10 days I’m still having trouble writing, holding anything of weight, opening jars, drying my hair, driving….anything that it takes two hands to do.

Several things have come to my attention though, as reminders to be grateful for all that I have. First of all, I had to take three sick days from work last week. It didn’t really occur to me until a couple of days ago to be grateful that I have three sick days to take. And while I was sick at home, I was not sick and lonely. I was well cared for, by a husband and family who cheerfully watched over me and saw to anything that I might need. My son checked in on me at least daily, to see how the pain and swelling were progressing.

Yesterday I was talking with my daughter in law, who told me about her co-worker. Her friend lost both of her parents this past winter in a gas explosion that destroyed an entire neighborhood in nearby Allentown. She has a six year old daughter. She has stage four brain cancer. How grateful I am, that I was able to raise healthy children, while enjoying good health myself, and that they were able to know my mother. I cannot imagine the stress and sadness of knowing the possibility that I might not live to raise my children. And, if I have been frustrated by the barriers thrown up by the medical community this past week, how much more difficult it must be for someone with a chronic and/or severe health condition.

My hand is swollen, it hurts, and I don’t know why. I’ll take it.


8 comments on “Gratitude”

  1. I’m so sorry you’re having this trial, Jane, but love how you put it in perspective with other people’s trials. That has also been on my mind having a washer that leaks every time I use it, which is soo minimal compared. At least I have a washer and a dryer, and a home, and family close by. Wow.
    Many prayers and blessings for your week.
    Love, Diann

  2. Thank you Diann! I’ve been realizing that things could be much worse. What if I had no sickdays? For many people it’s “show up, or lose your job.” some people…many people…have no insurance. God has always taken good care of me. Just sometimes I’m not paying attention. :0)

  3. Great post today. Same lines of Brian McLaren’s new book: Naked Spirituality. After “here” the next word is gratitude.

  4. Most of us don’t thank God as often as we should…’s something in the human nature, methinks……I’ve been struggling with insomnia (again) and need to realize that at least I have a bed to lie awake in while those poor people in Missouri and other places that were hit by the tornadoes lost everything in a few seconds.

    But I’m glad you are making progress Jane….

  5. I am a little worried about your hand since you are still having problems with it. You should have received better care.

    • It’s quite a bit better today, Holly. I’ve been wearing a compression glove, which seems to be keeping the swelling down, and I’m hopeful that whatever it is, it’s finally on the run!

  6. We don’t have to look very far to see worse suffering than our own, do we? Especially with instant access to all things global, it only takes a few moments to bring our own trials into perspective! However, challenges that seem trivial by comparison are still legitimate challenges, and when framed with an attitude like yours, provide us with opportunities for personal growth and insight. It’s all good 😉

    • I agree, Amy. Every so often someone will be talking about a crisis they’re going through and will stop and refer to our loss of Mike, saying something like, “It doesn’t compare.” But anything can hurt, and one person’s pain doesn’t minimize another’s. I also agree…the key is to find the learning and grow.
      “Its all good” reminds me of a children’s book I use with Kinders called “Pete the Cat.” He’s walking along in his brand new white shoes and keeps stepping in stuff. “Did Pete cry? Goodness no! He just kept walkin’ along and singin’ his song.”
      It ends……
      “No matter what you step in, just keep walkin’ along and singin’ your song,
      Because it’s aaawwwwwwwllll goooooood.”
      :0) Sometimes kids books are the best.

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