Monday, July 03, 2006

gratitude

I've been thinking, is it real gratefulness to say,"Well, at least we're not as bad off as these people." One of Leif's nurses prompted this thought process by a comment during Leif's hospital stay. She was gently reminding us, as so many have, that he was not as bad off as some of the kids, but then she followed up by saying something about not wanting to use others misfortune to feel better about ours. I thought about that everyday as I wandered the halls of the children's hospital, so many disfigured and obviously sick children. So, is it true gratitude to God for me to say, "Ah well, at least Leif doesn't have a disease that will kill him. At least he doesn't have a painful and terminal illness." I wonder what it means to "give thanks" and have an attitude of gratitude in a situation like that? How do i "give thanks" that my son has a disease that demands major surgery? How does a woman who lost her little boy to a "genetic freak accident" give thanks? How does someone give thanks at the bedside of a 6 year old who is dying of leukemia? I praise God that Leif's condition will be manageable after his surgery and that he will not die from his disease. But what if he did have a terminal illness? How would I be grateful in that situation? I try as much as possible to grieve with parent's of children in worse situations, to grieve my own son's condition, and to praise God separate from worse situations...but it is very difficult to do.

1 comment:

Lydia said...

erika,
thanks for the post on our blog. the little girl is our niece (4months old) who has just been diagnosed with jouberts syndrome (rare genetic disorder) which means varying degress of physical/ mental involvement so we have been really feeling the same thoughts. how to give thanks. i try to say it with my mouth, even though my heart may not be there... but sometimes even then the words won't come. aaron and i have been praying for Leif, as he and you guys have been on our heart... even without meeting. must be the motherhood bond and empathy.
lydia