Count Your Blessings...Not Your Problems

Count Your Blessings...Not Your Problems

“Count your blessings~Not your problems”. 

I recently saw this quote on a billboard outside–of all places–an old folks home. 

Perhaps it takes someone until their golden years to figure out this simple message.

A few years ago my dad had an “aha moment” with this very message.  He had recently come from a chemo treatment.

A relative “newbie” on the oncology floor, he was in the midst of his fifth or sixth go-round with the toxic stuff when twin three or four-year olds bound in the room with their thirty-something mother. 

As she talked with the nurse, the two tow-heads called dibs on a seat on either side of my father. His reaction was typical of a sixty-five year old man facing treatment for a disease that he knew full well was going to eventually take him. 

“I’ve got another two hours on the drip and lucky me I’ve got Frick and Frack along for a sideshow.”  He could not believe how a mother could bring the kids along to watch her hooked up to an IV. 

How insensitive–to all involved.  Sick people should not have to deal with shit like this.

During our conversation Dad questioned the “stroke that babe must be married to”.  He wondered what could be so goddamn important that the father could not take the kids while mom headed to the hospital.

As the nurse approached the boy next to him and another headed toward the girl on his other side, dad was enlightened.

Mom did not have cancer.  The children did.

And on that particular day he shared his wisdom with me.  “Be grateful you have two healthy kids.  Cherish every cancer-free-pain-in-the-ass moment with them.”

He then revealed he spent the rest of the treatment counting his blessings.  At least his diagnosis came during the “winter” of his life…those poor kids were experiencing it at the beginning of their “springtime”.

My husband and I had a similar conversation regarding the blessings/problems billboard recently. 

Despite the bottom line in the bank account most months…life is not so bad. 

If that is the only problem we have in life…if that is the cross we have to bear…we are blessed.

Trust me there are days I complain about being “Mrs. Stash Stapinski”…but then there are the other days I count my blessings…most days we are on the same page regarding life and the kids we are raising.  There are some not as fortunate…sadly they are not even reading the same book.  

And I am thankful for the car I have to drive~Betsy is paid for and gets me where we need to go~thankfully the 95,500 miles were spent hauling healthy kids to sports and school activities rather than hospitals for diagnoses and treatment.

The trusty vehicle gets the husband to the train which takes him to the Loop~I thank God he has a job…the fact he loves it is a bonus.

As the school year begins I promise myself I will try not to complain the B+ is not an A…especially when I think of the parents who have kids who have learning disabilities.  I am grateful my kids not only love to learn…but that the learning comes easy.

 And so I accept my cross to bear in life~we all have one.

From this day forward I will try not to sweat the small stuff…my life isn’t so bad.

No matter what the bank statement says, this morning I woke up and my two healthy paws hit the floor…and that makes me the richest girl in the world.

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