Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Finding Thanks

Tomorrow marks another Thanksgiving. I've had thirty plus Thanksgivings in my lifetime. The past 6 years have been a love/hate relationship with Thanksgiving. I want to make something very clear: I love my daughter with Down syndrome. She is awesome. She has changed my life in so many ways. Jaycee is someone I am thankful for without a doubt.

With that being said, her health problems have robbed us of so much though: the certainty of her future, peace of mind, finances, the simplicity of certain things such as playing in the snow...  Her health problems (sleep apnea, asthma, heart issues) aren't her fault. She takes them in stride and remains joyful about life. But, her health issues often leave me feeling worried, pessimistic, and fearful. Sometimes, I have struggled to see any good in a situation. For example, someone might remark about the "blessing" that happened when Jaycee got out of the hospital. I was too busy stuck on--why did she have to be sick and go there in the first place. I would be so angry with God or fate or just life in general about her illnesses to see any good. I saw her hurting and her life being threatened. Yes, I was glad she was fine but I was too shaken to be magically happy about anything from that situation.

There have been some Thanksgivings in recent years when I have felt like I have had more to be angry or upset about than thankful. My attitude stunk! Maybe it was depression. Maybe it was exhaustion. I'm not sure what it was but the feeling was real.

I'm happy to say that this year I've had such an attitude change. I do feel grateful and thankful for many things in my life. I choose not to focus on the times she was in the hospital this year. I choose to focus on the majority of days that were spent at home laughing and having regular old life. I'm thankful that God has helped me look at things with fresh eyes and allow me to see the good in things again. Happy Thanksgiving!

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