Do you know how Oprah has that page in the back of her magazine called ”What I Know For Sure?” I used to think “How could she make that into a ‘Monthly’ section?” Filling an entire page every month?? There isn’t possibly that many things in life that “I know for sure”! And it seems as I get older there are fewer and fewer of them. I certainly have many more questions than I do answers as the years stretch out behind me. In fact I would say the things I “Know for Sure” would succinctly fit onto a 3×5 recipe card with room to spare.
But there IS one thing I would be able to write with confidence.
For me – for my experiences; for my family; for my life – the one thing I know for sure – is that “Whispering Thank You” has helped me in ways that are utterly immeasurable.
I have had the opportunity to be given so many blessings in my life, and along with those blessings a few challenges along the way; which have just served to make the blessings seem that much sweeter.
I would argue it is the same for all of us. Blessings, challenges and opportunities. We all have them. Some of us have them in unequal amounts. Some are seemingly larger by nature and some seemingly smaller. Really though, it’s all relative and its all perception. But for me – through it all – the ups and downs – the exciting and mundane – the fear and the pain – whispering my gratitude has been what has made all the difference.
Some of you may see yourselves in these future posts, having had similar experiences or just similar worldviews. I hope you do.
I hesitated for so long to start writing in a way that others may see. Waiting for the right time or waiting for the right format. Waiting for the words to be perfect. Waiting for confidence. Waiting for a sign. I’m done waiting. I’m doing this for me. (Man courage is tough isn’t it?)
So from now on, I’m going to start listening to myself …. whether it falls perfectly into place or not.
And please be sure to check out my post called “A True Story” reposted below – it explains where “Whispering Thank You” came from and is one of my favourite stories ever.
So here we go into the blogosphere – today I am mustering the courage to begin.
And for that … I am Whispering Thank You,
A True Story
Three years ago I woke up in the morning and had one of those experiences that has stayed with me to this day. It was incredibly brief but at the same time very private.
Moments like that I hold so dear, but I also tend to keep them close to my chest. But this was different. This was a moment I wanted to share … and it was the moment I first thought of starting this blog.
After it happened I went straight to the computer, typed up what follows and sent it to some family and friends. I’m posting it here exactly as it was written then. As the years went by and I played with the idea of a blog, it was always what I thought my first post would be. And while it is in fact my ‘second’ and not my ‘first’, for me it is where the idea began to really take shape. And let’s be honest, very few things in this life ever quite go as planned. So be it first or be it second … here is where it all began for me.
True Story – June 21st 2006
After a worldwind night including bloodtests, transfusions, ambulance rides and countless nurses and doctors, we first hear the confirmation that our son Mark has cancer. Four days later his specific cytogenetics will come back from the lab and we will learn the immeasurable weight that his particular rare high risk diagnosis really means and how much the numbers are not on his side. Our life has forever been changed – and I have little hope to hang on to. There will be high risk protocols, unfathomable amounts of chemotherapy for 3 1/2 years, seemingly unending painful procedures and the words ‘severe’ and ‘rare’ more times than I can count.
True Story – June 21st 2011
Five years later. It’s 6:15 a.m. and I sneak into Mark’s room. (Mark is a sleeper – this will not wake my son – of this I am sure) I crawl into his bed and I marvel at how big he is. How truly long his legs and arms are. I marvel at how much we have overcome. As I crawl under his covers he rolls over and puts his arm around me and keeps breathing in that deep way kids do when they sleep.
Now to understand the rest of the story you’d have to know that I whisper “thank you” to the universe like ALL the time. I’ll be walking down the stairs and I’ll pause, close my eyes and whisper “thank you”. It’s not particularly a prayer, or at huge moments or anything. Sometimes I do it when I’m stopped a red light, or in my chair at work, or in the morning, or before bed – whenever. I just pause, close my eyes and whisper thank you.
This morning as Mark’s arms were around me – on this anniversary day that is usually so difficult for me – I whispered in the smallest of voices – free of tears, or weight or gravity – “thank you”. And in the smallest of voices my beautiful son very simply whispered “Your Welcome”, and continued that deep breathing.