Like children jumping off pages of a story book, they’d skip along the sidewalk holding hands. One was older but slighter, the other bigger but with a baby’s pudginess. Without words, they clasped hands to signal brotherhood. A lifetime of protection. Orange pop-cycles dribbled down wrists, leaving squiggly stains of wonder within their eyes. From the window screen, I heard them giggle. The two compared arms, pointing to each other as if a spaceship had landed! Mandarin liquid dripped faster than quivering lips of four could lick or keep up. It was the afternoon heat of desert after all!
I had no way of knowing it then, but my oldest son, the one who wore red canvas sneakers tied loosely upon his feet walked steps closer to being diagnosed with a chronic illness. Soon, his childhood innocence would be snatched out from under him. Perplexing puzzle pieces were locking into place. Different sizes and shapes were coming together. Eventually, they would all match to make a picture portrait for me to understand.
Thanksgiving week is here. It is no more apparent to me that good health above all else is most important in life. Not wealth, status, power or privilege. Good health matters most in all of this world. God is smart to be sure. He gives us what we can handle, leaving the rest for us to figure out. Still and forever more, He guides us along our way. Often He’s there to help us discover hidden lessons in life. Before long, we learn how hard we must work while not playing the martyr.
Without realizing it, luck is on our side. This perhaps, is the first life lesson to learn while living with a chronic illness. Through the years there is much more to understand. We grow and pass on what we have been given. For we are the lucky ones.
Yes, the lucky ones….