The number of times something didn't happen to me, or those to whom I am close, are too numerous to count, but last night I received the greatest reminder of all that we must remember to appreciate and give thanks for not only what takes place in our lives, but also for those things that don't happen to us.
My husband fell seriously ill during the middle of the night, and 911 was called. In typical fashion for me, I first called the emergency crew, explained the situation and where we were, and then promptly fainted...four times... before the crew even got to my husband.
The "short story" results of a long night's experience is that my husband is fine, and so am I. Yet I am aware of the disaster that might have been.
- I could have lost my husband, our children their father/stepfather, and our grandchildren another person who showers them with love and attention.
- I could have fallen down the stairs one of the times I passed out, seriously hurting myself in the process, or worse.
- The emergency crew could have been late, or inept.
- The neighbors who came to help, or those who have checked on us today, could have been uncaring or unwilling to involve themselves.
Yet, instead of these disastrous possibilities, we were spared, and blessed, in so many ways.
- That woman who answered 911 could have just gotten off the phone line after she received the necessary information, but she stayed with me, not even knowing I had fainted, until I came to and was able to hear her yelling "Ma'am? Ma'am? Ma'am?" and was then able to complete our conversation. Bless that woman!
- The emergency crew was kind, caring, and thorough, taking excellent care of both my husband and myself. When I delivered a gift with a note of thanks to their station today, they said, as they had said last night, "No thanks necessary; this is what we do." Are they kidding? They saved a life!! They saved my husband's life!! There are simply no words to express the appreciation I feel.
- The neighbors could have been any of a number of people who simply didn't care and wouldn't take the time for us. But, instead, they have filled a portion of my...our...daily experiences with a sense of care, compassion, and community. Not because they have to, but because that's the blessing of who they are and how they live their lives.
Yes, there have been times that haven't gone my way: a failed first marriage; the loss of both of my parents; a job gone wrong and some never even offered in the first place. But, as one of my sons once said to me, "Everybody has their stuff. It's just different stuff than ours. But if push came to shove, I think we'd rather have our stuff than theirs."
None of us are perfect, living perfect little lives, but I do believe we're all doing the best we can at making our world, and our lives, a better place than we found it.
Could we do more? I'm sure we could. But right now I think I'll sit back for a minute, count the blessings of what I've...we've... managed to miss in our lives. And I'll think of what really matters in my life, and let the rest fall by the wayside.
May blessings follow you in all of your days.