Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Taking things for granted

We go through our days - there is a rhythm, a routine. Get up, eat breakfast, read the email, read the news, to do lists, lunch, supper, go to bed. But we tend to do these normal things running on "automatic." We get up, walk around the house, eat, sleep - all without thinking a lot about it.

I've got two friends in the hospital right now. These normal routine things I do take on more meaning and significance after visiting the hospital. One friend has had a lot of pain and has had a lot of problems with her digestive system. She was able to eat and enjoy a small supper last night. When I sat down to eat my supper, I was grateful that I still have an appetite (yes . . . an overactive one, but I can still eat and enjoy my food).

We take for granted some basic things that are really the simple pleasures of life - being able to walk around, go outside, watch the birds, smell the roses. Two friends, two different medical situations, two small hospital rooms, IV's, monitors, oxygen, walkers, ambulance rides. For one, it was a gradual decline in health, the other a matter of days from feeling healthy to being kept alive on machines under sedation. But both have been taken out of the mainstream of life. Both families have new routines that include getting to know the hospitals intimately - the best place to park, the best route through the hospital, where the popsicles are, the "senior discount" for parking. But there is joy in small things - being able to breathe unassisted, being able to get out of bed for a short trip to the bathroom, small slices of bread with jelly, having a room where the sunshine can come in, having friends who care.

I am lucky - I can go home, I can eat a tasty meal, I can walk unassisted, I am relatively healthy. And . . . I'm getting ready to go on a big adventure. I am blessed.

But do I remember to thank God for these every day blessings?

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