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1393788_571415276246381_1152631090_nI woke up to another chilly November morning in Des Moines. It’s actually a bit warmer today at 37 degrees. I continued my morning routine of coffee and a smoke to wake up. After breakfast I returned to the room to continue reading Getting Rooted in New Zealand. I thought about the irony of the commonalities that I have with Jamie Baywood, and the vast differences between our lives.

I took a break to catch up with what was going on in the world of Facebook as it is my one constant contact with my friends and family back home. I came across a post that broke my heart. A friend of mine, that we call Ogre, (because of his sheer height and size) lost his 7 month old daughter, Daisy last night. I’d never gotten to meet her, but I’ve seen her smiling little face seemingly millions of times across his Facebook feed. He is a proud papa indeed, but now she is gone.

He travels a lot like I do, and he was on the road. She was at home with her mom and at some point in the night, simply stopped breathing. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Time slowed down while I tried to process the information. I realized after I sent a message (which is cold and informal to not call) offering my condolences that I am grateful. I hate that this has happened to him, it’s unfair and I want to scream and cry for him, but in the moment that I feel so deeply for the situation I also get that strike of fear that hits me quickly.

This could happen to anyone at anytime, including me. God forbid I am on the road and something happen to one of my children. I would prefer nothing happen at anytime, but how much harder it would be if I were hundreds of miles away. The thing that made me happy is despite his heartbreak he spoke about how lucky he was to have even had her for his daughter, and got those seven months with her. I wished he had a lifetime instead, but what a brave man to push through and find a positive.

I realize that Thanksgiving is right around the corner and this is the time when we often reflect what we are thankful for; I am thankful for it all. I am thankful for my life despite the hardships, I am thankful for my children, my family, my friends, my ability to see, hear, and write. So many of the little things that we take for granted and I am thankful for it all.

I do not think that I can ever grasp why or how these things happen, especially to good people. I know that I am not meant to understand it…doesn’t make it any less painful. There has been too much death that I have been exposed to in my life. It doesn’t get easier. Even if I do not personally know them…if they are a friend of a friend, or someone that meant anything to me from afar or a good character in a book or a movie, I will be emotional. It is just the way it is. Hopefully, tomorrow I will blog of happier things.

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