Give Thanks…

I like fall.  I prefer the optimism and new beginnings that come with spring, but I do love fall.  I like the sweatshirt jacket weather, and the pumpkins and apples, and the beautiful fall leaves.  I like basking in the mystery and wonder of the beautiful colors as they fall through the branches to the ground, and blow through the air with the brisk wind.  But, this year I almost missed it.

I sat on the steps Saturday as my husband frantically gathered leaves into bags so they could stop blowing all over our neighbors lawns.  And, in our haste I almost didn’t notice, or even take a minute to appreciate the beauty of what was before us.

fall leaves 2

A testimony on life, and a sad one.

We, like so many others, are busy.  We are painfully busy at points.  There is school, and work, and homework.  There are Physical Therapy appointments, and swim practices.  There are lessons to plan.  There is a house to maintain, laundry to do, dogs to clean, floors to wash, and marathon grocery shopping every few weeks to keep my allergy girl well-fed.  There is mail to sort – regular junk to be shredded, bills to pay now and bills to pay later.  And that’s just here.

There are family members grossly under-visited.  There are people we love so much that live right close to us – who we never see.  There are friends short distances away we haven’t seen in years.

And yet, usually we find a few minutes in the fall.  A few minutes to toss some leaves around.  A few minutes to giggle.  So many thoughts flooded my mind as the last of the leaves hit the bag for this week.  One more clean up and the trees will be bare for winter.  And I looked up at that bright red tree above my doorway and took a minute to give thanks.

I needed to give thanks for the tree, above the new roof on the place we call our home.  I needed to give thanks for my husband and the family and friends that helped it happen 13 years ago.

The fall leaves, like so many things that happen each year, are a beautiful reminder to give thanks – for beauty, for love, for hugs, for smiles…

fall leaves

Meghan got new glasses this week.  She got her first pair in 2009, and her eyes have worsened steadily.  As we picked them up, and she said, “WOW,” and “THANKS!”  all at the same time – I was reminded of the little girl, who is now a young lady.  I am struck by the genuine gratitude as her sight is restored.  I am thankful for my vision, and the doctors who are able to help her have clear vision.

Meg Glasses 2009
Meg Glasses 2009
Meg Glasses 2011
Meg Glasses 2011
Meg glasses 2013
Meg glasses 2013

“Oh how the years go by…”

I have a friend or two who have given thanks every day this month, and I enjoy reading their thoughts and thankfulness each day.

For me I am thankful – but it’s more like a flow chart.  One thing, one blessing, one bizarre set of circumstances leads to me being reminded of how many reasons I have to be thankful.

Tomorrow we go for that brain MRI.  The one that will confirm that the suffering endured these last few months by my 10 year old who has seen so much, is “probably” migraines.  Brain MRIs really suck.  The only part to really be thankful for there is the part when they tell you they didn’t find anything.

These have been some difficult weeks.  My heart is heavy, and worn.  But I am thankful:

  1. For my daughter, and her unfailing determined spirit.
  2. For my husband, and his loving sense of humor, and his unending patience.
  3. For my parents and grandparents, and the blessings of having them.
  4. For my siblings, as we grow and experience life at different stages and paces.
  5. For nephews of all ages and stages.
  6. For my cousins and aunts and uncles all over the country – and for Facebook for helping me connect with so many.
  7. For the friends who refuse to give up on me, even as I am not available – again.  I take solace in knowing they will be there when I am.
  8. For those I love who are sick in mind, body and spirit.  Their strength inspires me.
  9. For the doctors who care.  Whether they get it right or wrong, my heart is open wide for the ones who care.
  10. For Meghan’s teachers – past and present – school and church, and their ability to instill a love of learning.
  11. For Internet friends – who support when other’s can’t.
  12. For dogs, and their unending loyalty.
  13. For two secure jobs in our home.
  14. For giggling, and tickling and fake hand-made flowers.
  15. For those of you who take the time to follow our journey.

40 years

I turned 40 last week and it wasn’t so bad.  I am thinner and stronger, and more determined than I was in high school – albeit a lot more gray.

  • I guess that makes me thankful for hair dye.
  • And for boobs that don’t sag, and no need for a mammogram.
  • For size “small” – cause who knew people wear that?
  • For the Isagenix that taught me to eat nutrient rich food.
  • For the prayers of friends, and the strength and stamina to endure.

MRI tomorrow.  Results to follow.  Then, we will give thanks even for the torture of migraines, with the knowledge it beats the alternatives.

MOSTLY I AM THANKFUL FOR HOPE, as the Global Genes Project says – “It’s in our genes!”

rare meg

Give Thanks!


I think its Ok to say we have character.  Lots of people I know have character.  That’s why I spend time with them.  I know lots of people who have traveled through their own trials and persevered.  We are all unique, but the same in our drive and ambition.

Why is it then, that not all of our doctors have character?  Some do.  They work so hard.  Even when they are throughly confused, their wheels are always turning.  They return my calls, and my emails.  Instead of thinking, “This Mom is NUTS!,”  they think,”What is wrong with this kid, and (more importantly) how can I help her?”

We have some of both kinds of doctors in our lives right now.  In all honesty, I have had better luck overall picking from the doctor pool than Meghan.  Even with some bumps in the road, my problems, not withstanding the Cowden’s Syndrome – have all been fairly easy to diagnose and treat so far.

Meghan on the other hand has run in circles since she was a baby.  We have had this kid at a flow chart of professionals, and while we have gotten some significant and important answers along the way, I find it almost inexcusable that she is still suffering with random, unexplained fevers and headaches.  I find it disgraceful that she has been on a rotating cycle of antibiotics about every 8 weeks for over 2 years and no one but me is screaming about it.  I find it downright scary that she needs 100mg of Celebrex a day to move, and 1600 mg of acyclovir to keep the Herpes Simplex infections at bay.

So, when we went to see our beloved pediatrician today, who is deeply bothered by this recent fever/headache thing, I brought with me an EMail exchange I had shared with a doctor at a world-famous NYC hospital.  Sparing you the exact read, after summarizing the last 2 weeks, and sending lab work, as well as a brain MRI with an unusual finding, this doctor responded that he felt there was “no necessary follow-up, and he is sorry Meghan isn’t feeling well.”  After reading this aloud to my soft-spoken, proper, pediatrician, his calm reply was, “He is just LAZY!  And you still NEED to find her a neurologist.”

Interesting to contemplate that this doctor from this world-famous hospital was being called “Lazy,” but I have never heard my pediatrician speak ill of anyone.  Now I doubt the man is lazy in the literal sense of the word, but in the “problem solving, figuring out the mysteries of what makes my unusual patients tick” way, I guess he is.

Meghan’s pediatrician is one of a small group of doctors we are blessed to know.  They are few, but they love her like she is their own.  They believe her.  They validate her.  And they won’t stop pushing until they figure it out.

So, while I get tired from running to doctor after doctor… tonight I am grateful for the men of character.  The ones who take seriously their oath, and who remember why they became doctors to begin with.