It’s almost Thanksgiving here in the U.S. and I am certainly counting my blessings in a major way this year. Although I’ve written about the importance of gratitude before, this past year forced me to go toe to toe with uncertainty – I left my home and moved to a new city, released a book that pretty much lays me bare, and helped my mother through a serious health battle. But, once again, I’m shown that life, God or the Universe, whatever you choose to call it, is always there to catch us – working behind the scenes to lead us where we need to go. With each trial my faith is strengthened and my awe for the amazing power that rules the world blossoms into something even more beautiful. My mother’s heart surgery from last week was successful but in the process I was reminded of something that I usually take for granted – that there are angels among us. People, just like you and me, who step up on a daily basis to and take on the heavy task of ushering us to safety. Doctors, nurses, policeman, fireman, and teachers all build their lives around the often thankless task of nurturing us when we’re weak, ensuring our well-being, and inspiring us to reach for something greater. They often see us at our worst; suffering, frightened, or discouraged – and yet somehow they find the patience to become a beacon of light leading us out of the darkness.From my vantage point in my mother’s hospital room, I could easily see God at work amidst the chaos. We traveled across the state to Shands Hospital for the services of a super-star Thoracic Surgeon, Dr. Philip Hess, known for his success with my mother’s difficult type of aneurysm – he did not disappoint. During her 12-day hospital stay, my mother fell prey to terrible panic attacks, due to a sense of helplessness and confinement, but despite the fact that they too were frightened (you could see it on their faces) the nurses muscled through, strong and methodically, restoring peace and order to the situation.
While there were too many earth angels to thank individually, I would like to mention one person specifically. Nurse Anita Holle transcended her regular job duties to also become a trusted confidant, advisor and guardian. In the four days she cared for my mother, she not only memorized the details of her particular case but also her long-term history. She took time to hear our concerns and offer advice, as well as bring a bit of laughter to a tense situation. Although my mom has since been released and a new patient has taken her place, it warms my heart to know that people like Nurse Holle exist – stepping in to help lift us up when we’ve fallen to low places.
So on this Thanksgiving – to the Firefighter, who willingly runs into a burning building, to the Policeman, who works to return not only our belongings but also our sense of security, and to the healthcare professionals, that selflessly nurture our bodies and offer us a second chance at life – I send a heartfelt “Thank You.” You are real-life reflections of Heaven on Earth, and for you, I am grateful.
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