It's become a habit of mine to begin a prayer almost the exact same way every time..."Dear Lord, thank you for everything you've done for me, and thank you for my family's health and safety."
Somehow, my loved ones and I have really hit the health jack pot. The only time I've ever been in the hospital, is when I was born. And while there've been a few minor mishaps over the years, we've been beyond fortunate. So it's easy to become complacent in my true thankfulness when it comes to this matter.
But something happened with my niece, Zoey, that made me stop and not just say "thank you," but seriously, seriously mean it. Her mother, Deb, explained that 4-year old Zoey was drinking from a cup with ice cubes, when suddenly one got lodged in her throat. Deb, a registered nurse, tried everything to help her daughter, but soon felt helpless as no oxygen was getting to her daughter at all. She began to foam at the mouth. And though Deb knew the ice cube would melt eventually, she feared that Zoey would be rendered unconscious before that happened. Luckily, it did not come to that. The ice cube melted and Zoey could breath again.
I tried to imagine the panic Deb must have experienced in that moment. The more I tried to put myself in that position, the more relief I felt that everything turned out okay. What if it had not been a melting ice cube? So many scenarios that make me thankful I'm not the one in charge of everything, God is.
Growing up, my dad would pray before big family dinners, like Thanksgiving and Christmas. And we teased him every time for always saying the exact same prayer, word for word. "Oh Lord, thank you for this food and thank you for our health. Amen." That's it. Some people aren't comfortable praying out loud, and that's what we chalked it up to. But now that I'm older, I can see how much 'good health' means to him. He lost his older sister when she was just 19. That tragedy was heartbreaking for his entire family. Having 4 kids of his own, good health must always be on the forefront of his mind. To this day if I mention I'm not feeling well, he won't let me hang up the phone until I promise to take Echinacea and drinks lots of fluids.
There are many blessings I receive on a daily basis that I'm certain I take fore granted - our jobs, cars that work (most of the time), living in a free country - but health is the one that I was reminded of today. I pray that nothing will have to "remind" me again in the future.