Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Thoughts: Counting Our Blessings...

A few years ago, I visited the Li'l Bee's blog often and one day noticed a pretty button on her sidebar. It took a while before I had "enough time" to click on the "Nie" button and when I did it was because it was so pretty. I had seen references on other blogs, but as I was not familiar with NieNie's blog it rang no bell. What I found was the inspiring story of a young couple who survived a tragic airplane crash over Thanksgiving weekend. This story might have crossed your path as it was picked up in news and media all across North America. It is a story that reminds us of how very lucky those of us who do not live with daily struggles due to injury, illness etc. are. Sometimes we need a reminder.

I only recently gained access again to a computer. It's not mine, it's his. Mine still hasn't been decided on, because I am lame like that and since I now have this one to fall back on, I am hesitant to put my coin into the wrong equipment. I spent most of this year without a computer which is a bit like having an arm cut off if you use blogging as a form of therapy... but I found that I had much to focus on. More than anything over the past months I have been reminded of how blessed I am to live the life that I do with my family and friends in such a gorgeous and bountiful place. And how lucky I am to have two children to watch grow and learn from.

Around Thanksgiving that year (in Cananda we celebrate in October,) I added the little Nie Recovery box to my own site. I am not familiar with Nie Nie's blog as most of her followers were, but I am more than familiar with how tragedy can alter your life. I almost lost my (then two year old) son six years ago as he fell off my sister's deck over twelve feet onto cement and fractured the back of his skull. The doctors told me in the hospital that if he made it there would almost certainly be brain damage. When all you want is to see your baby survive, you don't really stop to consider what the implications of brain damage could be, nor do you have it in you to plan for those changes.

It took over five hours for the local hospital to stabilize him enough that we could be airlifted to the Children's Hospital in Calgary. The paramedic that picked him up had to use a piece of scrap lumber to strap him to when they arrived because they didn't know if his neck was broken and the brace they had was too big. At the hospital, I watched them rip into box after box looking for the right sized whatchamits to use because he was so young and they had only youth and adult supplies on hand. As a result, his trachea was damaged when they intubated him. One of the nurses held his head absolutely still for hours while sitting in a squat position, but wouldn't let anyone relieve him until they had absolutely determined that his neck wasn't broken in case it moved while they switched places. I sat helplessly and watched while they did everything they could to save my baby.

And they did. Regardless of being severely underfunded, under-equipped, understaffed, overworked and exhausted, they made a miracle happen. Rowan made a complete recovery. He went right back to being the boisterous, loving and theatrical child he was before the accident and most people would never see that anything had happened, but something very important did. We all got to see firsthand what is truly important in life. Everyone involved was witness to what a miracle it can be to have so many people pull together in honour of one life and to truly cherish what we have through those we love. Thankfully not everyone needs to live through a tragedy to realize how lucky they are. So often we focus on what we think we need to keep us happy but in the process we neglect or put off what is truly important, thinking that it will always be there to appreciate when we find the time.

This past summer, I have not had the luxury of sitting at my desk filing away pretty photos to create new posts. What I have been able to do though is to refresh my understanding that in the end, what truly makes a house a home is the quality of life being lived inside. Since Rowan's accident I can honestly say that not a day goes by where I don't stop and think about how lucky we all are for what we have, as well as the capacity for understanding the enormity of it all. At such a chaotic and unstable time in many of our lives with the current state of affairs, politics and the economy, and simply day to day frustrations, let's all take the time to count our own blessings, and send our love and hope to those who have even more to struggle with, even if we never meet them.

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