Gratitude.

2 Aug

Sometimes I get so caught up in my own cycle of self pity that I often forget to stop and think about how great my life really is. More specifically, how blessed I have been to have never known death on a personal level. My husband’s father passed away about 7 years ago and I think that’s the closest loss has ever gotten to touching my life. My grandparents are still alive, healthy, and thriving. I don’t have a deceased pet. I’ve never even gotten pregnant, let along suffered through the loss of a child.

Certainly there have been people throughout my life who are no longer living, but no one whose presence was felt on a daily basis. Not that I don’t miss them, but the quality and routine of my own life was not interrupted by their passing. I know that won’t be true forever, but for now this is my reality.

A friend of my cousin is currently in a deep coma and being preserved through hypothermia. She has cystic fibrosis and about a year ago received a lung transplant that changed her life so much for the good. Well, a few days ago she was found not breathing. Basically they think she suffered from heart failure and have no idea how long she was without oxygen. They are beginning the process of raising her temperature and bringing her out of sedation. However, thus far they have been unable to detect any brain activity so her prognosis isn’t good. She’s 21. I’ve only met her one time and yet, this is really affecting me on a level that I’m not quite sure what to do with.

It just makes me question why some people get handed mounds of shit on top of mounds of shit. It’s like one bad thing isn’t enough; something worse always seems to be waiting around the corner. This world is just so full of chaos and I can’t make heads or tails of it. It really reinforces my belief that their is no such thing as divine justice. Bad things happen to really good people all the time. Where is the fairness in that? I’ve been taught to believe that if I am good person and I do good in this world then there is to be some reward to reap. Life, however, has taught me that’s its all really a crap shoot. Things like wealth, education, access to good healthcare, parents that had the same advantages, and the like are actually better indicators of what your quality of life will be like.

This girl has done nothing to earn her plight in this life. She suffered from a debilitating disease and yet got up every day staring life in the face. She spent her short time on this earth educating people on cystic fibrosis, raising money for the cause, and bringing joy to others in her same position. Yet, her life was robbed by this disease. What’s to be the lesson in that?

And to bring it back around to a selfish note (and maybe the essence of what is actually bothering me) what have I done to earn my infertility? I’ve spent the past 11 years of my life being a maternal figure to countless children. I plotted and planned my college, my career (or lack thereof), which neighborhood I live in, proximity to grandparents, the type of man I would choose to marry, the friends I surround myself with. Everything I have done has been so intentional in order to create the best environment to bring my children into–even little things like maintaining a healthy weight, taking prenatal vitamins before we even started TTC, reading about birth and breastfeeding, and so much more. And it’s all been for naught.

Where is the divine justice in that? I know it’s cliché, but I would really like someone to explain how the heroin addict walking into the methadone clinic next to my office has 4 kids in tow that look like they haven’t been bathed in weeks and are wearing sweatpants in 100 degree weather. All the while, I sit here in my air-conditioned office earning my paycheck while my husband sits in his office earning his. We pay our bills, we take care of ourselves more than adequately, and we have enough love between us to give to 20 children. Yet, there are two bedrooms in my house that are sitting empty waiting to filled by children. My uterus sits empty waiting to filled by the very thing that I have craved my whole life.

Where is the fairness in that?

I realize that the title of this post is Gratitude. I chose that word because I want to try to focus on being grateful simply for the fact that I am alive. I may be bitter, angry, and confused about so many other things, but when I touch my chest I can feel my heart beating beneath it. This is something to be grateful for. Unlike some, I at least have today to try and obtain that which I so desire. I may not have tomorrow, but for today I am alive. My husband, parents, friends, and extended family are alive.

Maybe I will reap m rewards one day, but in the meantime I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t appreciate the opportunity that I have been presented: life. And I am going to be thankful for my opportunity to spend my days attempting to create more life.

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23 Responses to “Gratitude.”

  1. Jenn August 6, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    Just thought I would post a quick update for any of you who subscribe the comments…My cousin’s friend, Gina, passed away the day I wrote this. The doctors were unable to detect any brain activity and so her parents made the difficult decision to take her off of life support. They, as well as my cousin, are taking comfort in their faith that Gina has now gone on to a better place where her body is healthy and she can finally thrive physically. Regardless of our individual beliefs, it is promising to remember that she is now free of the body that caused her such much pain and strife. She is remembered as a bright light in a world that should have dimmed her spirit long ago. Thanks for your thoughts. Much love xoxo

  2. dopingforbaby August 4, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    Really great post. You captured so much of what I feel on a regular basis. Bad shit does happen to good people, and then we’re left wondering WTF! Makes me want to cash in all accounts and move to a tropical island. But then again, I’m a vanilla risk kind of girl who plays by the rules. Now if only the rules applied all the time. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jenn August 6, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

      I’m definitely a vanilla risk kind of girl myself, but if you find a nice tropical island at a good price be sure to let me know 🙂

  3. Emily @ablanket2keep August 4, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    Great post. Thanks for the reminder to be grateful.

    • Jenn August 6, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

      You are very welcome! it’s a hard thing to do an a daily basis, but at least can try 🙂

  4. allmyprettyones August 4, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    I always feel that my job as a nurse in an ICU helps me to feel true gratitude more often than if I did another job. The people who are going through death, and disease, often upon family upset and financial stress, amaze me. No one deserves it, no one asks for it… and yet day after day I see tragedy play out before me. It keeps me in a constant state of gratitude.

    • Jenn August 6, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

      It is really humbling to be able to experience that on a daily basis and I know we could all benefit from finding more reasons to be thankful.

  5. jell jell @ I'll Sleep When They're Grown August 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    It sucks how random stuff like that is. I have known more than my fair share of friends and fam to die young and it affects me greatly. Every time it feels like another weight to carry. At first I tried to figure out what they did to “deserve” it, or a way to explain it away, but it being random almost made more sense to me.

    I’m sorry to hear about your cousin’s friend.

    • Jenn August 6, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

      I agree that the randomness makes more sense. What kind of person would let something so tragic keep happening time and time and again? Their is definitely comfort in chance.

  6. Theresa August 2, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    I think those questions to myself….sometimes more often than other times. I totally agree with you that bad things truly happen to good people and I don’t get it either. Unfortunately wondering doesn’t help anything, and so I’m trying to do the same as you. Great post.

    • Jenn August 6, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

      Thanks lady! Wondering and worrying couldn’t ever possibly change what is, all we can do is be grateful or what we do have and to learn from that which we lose.

  7. futuresoccermom August 2, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    Awesome post, and I completely agree. I know that I personally need to focus on what is positive in my life way more than I do. Thank you for the reminder.

    • Jenn August 6, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

      Thank you!

  8. Shelley August 2, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    I needed to read that today, so thank you.

    • Jenn August 6, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

      I needed to write that, so thank YOU for reading 🙂

  9. amy August 2, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    I understand what you are saying…I think, infertility aside, we have all thought “why me?” at some point in our lives. What have I done to deserve this? Why can’t life be a little more fair? I’m a good person, isn’t that enough. I don’t think anyone can answer that question. I think that life is about not necessarily enhancing our own lives, but trying to enhance others. I think if we touch or change even just one person’s life with our suffering or our story, than it’s totally worth it….and THAT is our testimony. My heart just hurt hearing what you said about your cousin’s friend, that is just unimagineable. But, you have to believe that young girl changed so many lives in her time. I’m sure she inspired people, made people appreciate what they have, made moms hold their children a little tighter every night…that is priceless. I feel like as an “infertile” I have helped people cherish their babes a little more, be grateful for their healthy reproductive systems, care a little deeper, speak a little less careless…and that’s worth it to me. Will I be ok if I never have a child? I don’t know. It doesn’t seem fair that people like us have invested so much of our hearts, minds, time and money into trying to have a child and being unsuccessful. But, Jenn, I promise you there is something more divine than you can imagine…beyond your broken heart. We know you are a grateful person, we have all been here. I’m pretty sure I have a very similar post to this!! I just wanted to speak what was on my heart right now J Thank you for always being so open on here, it’s inspiring!!

    • Jenn August 6, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

      Thank you for reading Amy, I always look forward to your point of view. And you’re right, she did inspire so many people, me included and I barely knew her. I can only imagine what she was able to do for people who were constants in her life.

  10. TheStorkWhisperer August 2, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    Being thankful for what you have is something we should all do. There’s so many unanswered questions like yours out there. As you know, there are no answers. I’m sorry about your cousin’s friends. Tragedies like those really make you question things more and also make you more grateful for what you have.

    • Jenn August 6, 2012 at 10:54 pm #

      Exactly! Sometimes it makes me wonder if these questions themselves are more important than having the answers. I think that by having to wherewithal to even wonder about such things makes us uncomfortable enough to stretch our limits and grow as people.

  11. Detour August 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    Great post. I’m so sorry to hear about your cousin’s friend.

    • Jenn August 6, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

      Thanks so much!!

  12. Belle August 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    I needed this post today. Thank you for sharing your raw emotions. And I will keep your cousin’s friend in my thoughts.

    • Jenn August 6, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

      Everything about me feel so raw lately, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I wear my emotions on my sleeve and keeping them in drives me absolutely insane. Thanks for reading and supporting, Belle 🙂

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