It often takes tragedy to wake us up, to make us reevaluate our lives and appreciate what we have. The reason for this is that when tragedy strikes, everything becomes instantaneously prioritized. You realized what matters most and what you care about and anything that is not essential is ignored. Yet when things are going well it can be easy to overlook the blessings in our lives. We can take for granted our health or the relationships we are fortunate enough to have and rather get caught up worrying about our mounting bills or dripping faucet or being stuck in traffic.
Each and every day we are blessed with so many thingsYet each and every day we are blessed with so many things that happen, starting with the fact that we wake up in the morning to another day ahead. And each day, every single one of us has something to be grateful for. Sometimes these things are big, such as getting a wonderful job offer, sometimes they are small, such as the fact that the baby slept through the night. But the more we focus on what we have to be grateful for in our lives, the easier it will be to deal with the challenges and tests that we may face as well.
I want to share a personal story with you, the impetus for creating this section of the site, and a story I am humiliated to have to share. And yet I feel it is essential, for it is the reason I want to start something with a real focus on the positive, and a place for me to share how blessed I feel and how grateful I am.
Yesterday, I had a very close friend come to visit me with her four kids. We decided to take her kids and mine to the zoo for the day. In total this was eight kids, all eight and under, with the youngest just about a year old. She had her nanny with her, but nonetheless, we were quite out-numbered.
It was a long and hot day at the zoo and the kids were exhausted and starving by the time we left. We decided to go straight to our local pizza parlor and I called ahead to make sure that the pizzas would be ready by the time we arrived.
My friend's daughter decided to come in our van and my eldest went with them. In the car ride, my two year old and four year old fell asleep in their car seats. Now I always unbuckle those two from their car seats when we park. But when we arrived, my other daughter and her friend unbuckled my baby and opened the car door and waited for me on the sidewalk. They closed the door and we went in the restaurant.
We got inside and I took all the kids to wash their hands. Fortunately, the pizza was ready and they immediately sat down to eat. I started handing out pizza when the most horrific reality hit me, "Where is Netanel???!!!" I realized immediately that I had left him in the car fast asleep.
I bolted from the restaurant to my van. Fortunately, of all days these entire past few weeks, this particular day had cooled off. Miraculously, he was still sleeping when I opened the door. He was fine. But what an unbelievable miracle.
What if it had been fifteen minutes and not five?I cannot believe I left my child in a car. I cannot believe I forgot about him. It is one of those things that you read about and think, "How does a parent do that? How could someone forget their child?" But I did it. And it was terrifying.
What if he had woken up and realized he was trapped in his car seat and sat there screaming, panicked and hysterical, knowing his mommy had forgotten about him and left him in the car on a busy street? What if someone had called the police and they took away my children from me? What if we had gone home and not to the restaurant? If the kids ran inside and upstairs, how long would it have taken me to realize he was not in the house? What if it had been in the high 90's and not 70's? What if it had been fifteen minutes and not five? What if he was not alright when I found him?
As I write this, I cannot believe how fortunate I am, how blessed I am, that I can share this and say that nothing happened. That he was completely fine. That I woke him up and that he had no recollection that he had been left behind.
There are no words to describe how grateful I am, so I am left with hoping I can do something to show my appreciation. And I hope that starting this column will be an action that screams, "I will not forget what I did. I will not forget the lessons I learned. And I will not forget the miracle I experienced…"
So this section is my place to say "Thank You" and to encourage all of you to share what you have to be grateful for in your life each day. Big or small, it doesn't matter, they are all important to share and important reminders that our lives are filled with blessings and miracles, constantly!
We will post this each week and keep a running list of your submissions. Please use the "Post a Comment" section below to submit what you have to be grateful for in your lives. May we all be blessed to have many, many wonderful gifts in our lives to share with one another!