On Tuesday, I went to the hospital to visit a friend who recently suffered a massive stroke that paralyzed the entire right side of his body. I sat with him for a while even though we couldn’t communicate with each other. He sometimes struggled for a breath of air and tried to speak during his brief moments of consciousness but was mostly incoherent. This was a man who was never lacking for words. He was intelligent and a great debater. Now here he was, reduced to a mumbling baby.
As I watched him, feeling useless and wondering if there was something I could do or say, I thought of my frailty. I thought of how I would feel with my mind trapped in a body that refused to answer its will. It was a dreadful thought that scared me.
The next day it snowed, prematurely by our expectations as we hadn’t seen snow before December for some time. I joined the voices of the malcontents and questioned God’s bad timing. It’s just the beginning of October! What kind of joke is this? How long is winter going to last this year? This really sucks! It was just a knee-jerk reaction as I am never one to really complain about too much snow, rain, heat or otherwise.
Then I thought of my friend in the hospital, (See the good thing about having an overactive mind is that it sometimes counters the negative thoughts by coming up with other thoughts, even while thinking). I suspected that my friend would rather be out here navigating the snowy roads and feeling cold than lying on a hospital bed not knowing what his future holds. That was a sobering thought that righted my ship.
Later, I was surfing Facebook and came upon the photo above, it was about being thankful for each day as someone somewhere is fighting to survive. Coincidence?
As Thanksgiving approaches, there’s no better time to think of the things that are taken for granted. The things that we feel we have earned. A breath of air, health, possessions. We feel that no thanks are necessary or saying thanks once should be good enough.
When we have our health and our lives, there is no such thing as a bad day. Snow falling when we think it’s not supposed to, does not constitute a tragedy. So now I am thankful that I could experience another winter. I could feel the cold and trudge through the snow and that’s more than some could say.
Have a happy Thanksgiving!