Tuesday, December 11, 2012

'it's been a long december...

and there's reason to believe,
maybe this year will be better than the last
i can't remember all the times i tried to tell myself
to hold on to these moments as they pass.

the smell of hospitals in winter.
and the feeling that it's all a lot of oysters, and no pearl.
all at once you look across a crowded room
to see the way the light attaches to a girl.'

-counting crows.

we had an outpatient appointment the other day for shilo.  we walked into the massive (and new) foyer at the children's hospital, and there was a cheery group of high schoolers playing an assortment of christmas songs on instruments.  we stopped for a few minutes and listened before we had to rush on to our appointment.
yesterday i went grocery shopping.  the stores are a mass of crazy this time of year.  so many people shopping.
the first store i went to was just groceries (aldi for those familiar) and definitely more busy than i usually see it.  as i got up to the check out, there was one lane open, four people in line, and quickly four more people filed in line behind me.  the last person obviously has something very important to get to, because she stood there yelling, 'can you open another register?  can't someone come check more people out?'  and on and on. the two people directly behind me were complaining about the ridiculousness of one register being opened.
i stood there cringing.  it's not that i don't have days where i'm impatient.  it was just that as i stood there listening to those people, i thought about the families who still sit at the hospital, long past the carolers being gone.  the kids who will spend their holiday there, celebrating in a hospital room.  i thought about the many families i know who lost children this year.  i thought about how christmas will feel for them.  and in (a likely somewhat cliche) another moment, i thought about people who would love to be standing in a line knowing that they will have enough food in their cart to feed their family.
i think, not just during christmas, but year around, we truly forget about the suffering that is happening all around us.  we spend thanksgiving talking about how thankful we are, and the rest of the year wanting, complaining, and forgetting the rest of the world around us.
so as you celebrate holidays with your family, not just christmas, but things like fourth of july, mother's day, and any day you celebrate, that there are millions of families doing it in a children's hospital with a sick kid.  as you wait in line at the grocery store, with a cart full of enough food to feed your family, remember that there are families around the world who are eating dirt mixed with hay in order to put something in their bellies.

i am increibly grateful, and believing, that this year will be better than the last.

our hospital stay last december with my 4lb 4oz one month old.

and it is not lost on me that there are families that are experiencing a lot of oysters with no pearl.  so in reality, if the worse thing that happens to you today is you have to wait for ten minutes at a check out at the grocery, your day is great.  and while you are waiting in line, say a prayer for those families who have much worse things going on.


  1. I always let those complainers in front of me because it might be the only nice thing someone has done for them all year long.

  2. "we spend thanksgiving talking about how thankful we are, and the rest of the year wanting, complaining, and forgetting the rest of the world around us."