This journey of transplant has made space for gratitude to grow within me. It has allowed an awareness of the seemingly “ordinary” gifts that I never needed to take notice of before. It has caused me to slow down and ponder many things. While I have questions without answers and a whole mixture of emotions from moment to moment, I am humbled by the process. The ups and downs are often extreme, but the kindness of God (often on display through our community) has been one of many gifts. Here are a few others I feel thankful for…

I am grateful for breath, urine, and platelets.  I am thankful for appetite and a tummy that can digest even a few ounces of formula. I am grateful for medications that have helped to sustain Ryan but also amazed on the days when he does not require all of them anymore.

I love the little grey moccasins that hold and protect Ryan’s feet. There were days I didn’t know if he would need shoes again.  And now, as more and more life returns, he wants to dance. It makes my heart rejoice.

I am thankful for sleep. There were days and nights when he could not, and the delirium was overwhelmingly scary.

I am in awe of the wonder that fills his spirit. He has caused me to say “wow” a whole lot more than ever before.

Oh, and his hugs and kisses. They are spontaneous and generous.

I love the “roar” sound Ryan makes when mimicking simba, and his laughter is like medicine to my soul. The sound of it. The delight on his face, especially when he is surrounded by his brother and sisters. Oh, the gift it is to have them all under one roof.

I have observed friends posting #staylittle and #slowdown in reference to their kids. While I understand the sentiment, I am so grateful for the possibility of my little one living to grow big. As for the slowing down, I am convinced the responsibility for this is upon me. Oh, that I will be able to notice and receive these gifts, knowing that every good and perfect one of them is from above.


4 thoughts on “Gifts

  1. i love the way you said that juli. i have been one to hashtag “slowdown.” and yet, even when i say it (mostly because having the older kids has made the littler ones seem to go so much faster because time has seemed to move faster than when my olders were little), i am so thankful to watch them grow up. i was filling out some medical paperwork for asher and read through the hospital notes on when he stopped breathing shortly after being born. here he is about to turn 14 and all the emotions of being a new mom with a baby going completely blue and even the dr notes i was reading over said we expect him to do this at least several more times so we will keep close watch over him… reading the diagnosis over his heart and yet seeing him a healthy athlete with no apparent issues left in his heart that we are aware of… i am just overwhelmed with thankfulness of the privilege of watching him, and our other kids, grow up because i felt the sting of that not being guaranteed, though really breath isn’t guaranteed to any of us tomorrow. i had a dream 2 nights ago that i met ryan in person and was spending time with you. it was such a very good dream. love you my friend and i am so very thankful for all those things you mentioned and that God has sustained ryan thus far and will continue. ❤


  2. My friend, your notes are always encouraging and life giving. Somehow they cause my heart and throat to fill up with emotions that are unexplainable partially. I am so grateful that through this journey you are now able to breathe for a moment. So grateful for so many prayers at this time for the next son as well. What a grateful heart I have
    to come alone side of each of you. With much love, compassion,cares and prayers. God indeed sees each of YOU!
    And He knows your Name!


  3. 🙂 i understand what you mean, when you watch a child that has been entrusted to you, that calls you mom ….
    at some point while you watch them breath you wonder how long will they continue to do that? breath that is… you wonder how you might live without them, it changes you inside, at that point the world as you saw it is somehow different. like you said, things you never rejoiced in before you now rejoice in and for me anyway things that mattered to the world no longer mattered to me. when i look at the blessings God has entrusted to me, i see beauty where others see broken and it makes me grateful, it makes me know our value and it makes me smile~ it’s oft a hard road to get here , but it’s totally worth it, God perspective is priceless~


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s