As I sit here on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, there is a question that I have been thinking about a lot lately and feel compelled to write about it.
Do you take things for granted? Do you really take in everything and appreciate what God has given you or do you expect it and go on about your day to day life?
My friend Hillary came down to Cleburne this past Tuesday to have dinner with Cal and I while Marcus was in class. I remember her telling me after she got home that night that she didn't realize the things that Cal couldn't do that so many people take for granted. She said that Cal couldn't even raise his head to look at me or put his arms out to hug me. She said she didn't realize this until she came down and saw him. I think most people think Cal is good when they see his pictures because he does "look" healthy. Most people in stores and restaurants that don't know us or Cal just think he is "sleepy". But if you really think about a 19 month old and what they should be doing, Cal has never been able to do any of it.
Throughout this journey, I have definitely realized many people take things for granted and don't even realize it because they are so busy. There have been so many times in the store where I want to walk up to people and tell them to be grateful that they can even take their kids to the store with them because I can't. I am not trying to have a pity party, but I just hope to encourage people to start thinking about it. So, please just take a minute and ask yourself these things. It doesn't matter what point of view you ask these from. You could be a grandparent asking these about your grandchildren. You could be a mother/father-to-be asking it about your future children. You could be a parent asking it about the child you have right now.
Do I take for granted that....
- my child can hold his/her head up on their own?
- my child can roll over?
- my child can smile at me?
- my child can hug me?
- my child can call me mommy/daddy?
- my child can play with his/her toys?
- my child can sit up in the bath by his/herself?
- my child can eat what I cook?
- my child can walk and talk?
- my child can breath on his/her own?
- I don't have to take my child to the doctor at least once a month?
- I don't have to get a shipment of medical supplies every month to be able to feed and medicate my child?
- my child can go to school?
- my child will graduate/go to college/get married?
The list could go on and on.
I know we are not the only parents going through this. There are many families with special needs children. I am not trying to get people to feel sorry for us. I know not everyone takes things for granted but a lot of people do including us before this happened. We went about our busy lives not appreciating the small things. Our journey with Cal has definitely made us appreciate life so much more. Marcus and I still have a 19 month old infant, but I absolutely love his sweet, silent stares at me. I love holding him in my arms and telling him how much I love him. Do I wish he could hug me or say mommy or tell me he loves me back? Yes! But I am so grateful for the sweet, silent moments we share.
All I ask is that after reading this, slow down, take one day at a time and appreciate what God has blessed you with. It doesn't only have to be about your children. Be grateful for your job. Be grateful for your home. Be grateful for a car to drive. Be grateful for food on the table. Do not take anything for granted! Enjoy your family and friends! Enjoy this beautiful life God has given you! It could all change in an instant for anyone.
We appreciate all the love, support, and prayers that we continue to get from family, friends, and people that we don't even know. We love you all!