Friday, October 22, 2010

Unlucky? Maybe. Maybe not.

I recently read a story about a wise man who had a series of fortunate and unfortunate events happen in his life. When good things happened, his neighbors would tell him what a lucky man he was. When bad things happened, they would tell him how unlucky he was. With each comment from his neighbors, he would only reply, "Maybe. Maybe not." The man seemed to understand that good fortune would not last forever, and that challenges often brought blessings. Oh, to be so wise.

Over the past six weeks our family has experienced what many would call a series of unfortunate events. It all began with my sister-in-law's unexpected passing. Definitely an unlucky, difficult experience, one I would never wish on anyone, one I would never choose. Yet, with her passing has come a lesson on empathy, a strengthened testimony in the Plan of Salvation--including the resurrection, a renewed reliance and trust on the Lord, more fervent prayers, more love for my family. I could go on and on. Truly, I have learned lessons I could have learned in no other way. So unlucky? Maybe. Maybe not.

Last week we called an ambulance once again. This time it was for my three-year-old son, Boston. I was visiting my family in Wyoming when he started having signs of croup. He seemed fine one minute, not fine the next. My sister and I gave him a breathing treatment, put a humidifier in his bedroom, and put him to bed. My brothers arrived to give him a priesthood blessing. His breathing was labored and I felt certain it would be a long night. I had no idea. Thirty minutes later I was holding my little son on the front porch in a frantic effort to get him to breathe. He was severely retracting, working tirelessly to get air into his lungs. We got in the car to take him 30 miles away to the closest medical care when it became obvious he needed medical attention immediately. My sister called 911 while I prayed silently for help. The same ambulance crew (except one person) that carried my sister-in-law away only five weeks earlier arrived and off we went to the hospital.

It was a long night of breathing treatments, steroid shots and no sleep as my little son struggled to recover in the same emergency room my brother had just lost his wife in. The reality of it all was overwhelming. Thankfully, this time the outcome would be much better. We made it through the night and Boston has recovered. Of course now we are faced with medical bills we hoped to never have. Unlucky? Maybe. Maybe not.

As I held my little boy that night, I realized once again how grateful I was to be his mother. I wrapped my arms around his small frame and thanked God over and over for this miracle in my life. I knew he would be okay, and my heart was so grateful. Another precious reminder of the value of life itself and of family.

Today, another unfortunate event. My dad rolled a 4-wheeler down a mountain and sustained numerous cuts, scrapes and bruises. Truthfully, he looks like a train wreck. And the 4-wheeler doesn't look much better. He was alone, rounding up some cows. No one knew where he was. Unlucky? Maybe. Maybe not.

My dad has multiple sclerosis. One side of his body doesn't work all that well, and he has to literally drag his left leg around. Ranch work doesn't really suit someone in the kind of shape my dad is in. But ranching is what he's always done. There have been so many close calls. Ones like today, when he so easily could have been killed, or at least broken a limb and sustained more serious injuries. But somehow he keeps coming out of things in tact.

So, tonight, even though I am tired and a little beaten up inside from the battle scars we've received recently, I feel so lucky. Actually, it isn't luck at all. I feel so blessed. Through every challenge, every heartache, every scare, every bad day, there are blessings to be found and reasons to be grateful. And so, even though I miss my sister-in-law terribly and the reality of life for my brother and his children is difficult to bear, my heart is full of gratitude for so many blessings that have come these past couple of months. And even though our medical bills are depressing to say the least, I am so grateful for my sweet little boy who is worth far more than the bills require. And even though my dad is a little beaten up, he's still here, and he's going to be okay.

How can I be so lucky?


Abby said...

What?! I just talked to you yesterday... Did your dad crash after we talked? Seriously, girl, what's going on with your family? Loved having Regyn here to play, by the way. Wishing you better "luck" this week...

Melanie B said...

I just read my Sunday School lesson. YOu are are a cistern that can hold iron pillar.