Ten reasons I am grateful

by Bill

Oliver: Oliver is one of my biggest role models. On days when he can get out of bed he goes around the cancer unit looking for ways he can make other patients and the people working at the hospital smile. On days when he is too sick to get out of bed he talks about helping people when he feels a little better. The important word in the preceding sentence is "little" because he does not need to feel very much better to wander down the hall and give someone a scarf he made for them or to make a farting noise with a straw at an unexpected moment. There are many ways to make people happy and Oliver keeps discovering new ones.

Jana: This Mother's Day I am amazed by my wife. Things were so different for our family this time last year but her focus is still the same-- making sure each of our children feels loved and is growing in positive ways. When Oliver was our only child Jana used to talk often about her willingness to "take a bullet" for him. This past year she has proven she is willing to do a lot more for him than be shot by a gun. She has gone without sleep, advocated for him with his doctors, and stared at him adoringly when he needed it and when he did not need it as much. I now believe that the biggest reason I went to law school was to learn how to be persuasive enough to convince her to marry me.

Cassidy: One thing that unites Jana, Oliver and I is a shared love for a good Cassidy story. I know that if I ask "Would you like to hear what Cassidy did this morning?" that both of them will stop thinking about other things until I finish telling my story. She says the funniest things and has the biggest heart.

Samantha: This little one does not have the vocabulary of her big sister but she makes up for it with enthusiasm. Her preferred communication technique right now is to giggle when someone does something that amuses her. This is not a timid giggle. It is more of a shouting giggle that drowns out other noises and is irresistible. If you are near her you will laugh. Don't even try to resist.

My Mother and Father: I grew up knowing that both of my parents loved
me. I never had a reason to question that fact. I still don't.

My siblings: Nancy, Amy, Kevin, Jared, Jerry and Jenny have all been such a big source of kindness throughout my life. During this trial each of them has done something that helped me get through the day.
The Wilford Ward, Wilford Stake and all of the other faith communities where people are praying for Oliver: I believe that the spiritual life can only take place in community. The human heart only softens and grows through communication with God and with his children. The people in our ward have been a community for our family.

The staff and volunteers at Crossroads Urban Center: I cannot believe how lucky I am to work in such a supportive environment. Every weekday I see people who know Oliver and are cheering for him.

Nurses who remember stories about Oliver from months ago: The staff at Primary Children's Hospital are such a big part of Oliver's emotional life right now. It makes a difference when they provide him with evidence that he is a part of theirs.

Doctors who ask you to sign documents using a very large Minnie Mouse pen: It is such a blessing that my eleven year old son is at what is truly a hospital for children.

This list could go on forever but I am out of time for writing right now. It is weird to be in a time where I have much more anxiety than I normally have and yet I also seem to have many more things to be grateful for.

Popular Posts