30 Days of Blessing – A Summary

Well that’s a wrap.  I am a day late getting this posted, but I was out on July 1st, spending the day on a ride in support of the Bravery Beads program that the Optimist Club of East Williams operate.  The run covers 240 km throughout three counties.  At the conclusion of the ride, a barbecued rib dinner with beans and salads was enjoyed by all.  

Once we were home, it was time to load up the van and head to Canada festivities and take in the fireworks put on by the Kinsmen.  Through all the joy of children and glow of fireworks, I was once again reminded of the blessing of family.

June was the month that I reflected daily on the small blessings in my life, and a few more seemingly significant ones as well.  Maybe it’s that I noticed it more, but the month of June seemed to be filled with sorrow and pain, as well as blessing and thanksgiving.

Have you ever been faced with the experience that so much bad news has come your way, you almost want to start laughing because there’s not much more you can do?  

Let me summarize what has happened in the past 30 days:

My wife’s aunt Laura who had been battling cancer was given just two weeks to live.  My wife made the trip up to Angus to see her, and a week later, Laura passed away.  We then traveled back up to Angus for the funeral and were going to stay overnight to attend the new charter celebration for the Wasaga Beach chapter of the Heaven’s Saints M.M., but their Vice President took a bad fall and the party was cancelled.

Family friend, Pat, who has lived one of the cleanest lives I knew and had been diagnoses with cancer, faced treatments and was though to be clean, was found to have cancer throughout her lungs and now into her liver as well.

My grandma’s husband who has fought and survived cancer three times, was found to have a spot on one of his lungs.

My wife’s friend, Anne, called her and advised that she was suspected of having ALS and wanted to see my wife. Within a few days, it was confirmed, ALS was the diagnosis and she was given just three to four months to live.

Our friend Nancy took a fall at a baseball game and was taken to hospital with a concussion.

Our friends, Dave and Dori, received news that their 27-year-old son, Greg, had passed away.  He had health problems as a child and wasn’t expected to make it into his teen years.  Nonetheless, it was a surprise.  His funeral was on last Tuesday.

One of my co-workers took a leave of absence from work to undergo cancer treatment while a second co-worker also faces the prospect of cancer treatment, although the course of action is still unknown.

Add to these major events, I came down sick and fought it for over two weeks, lost time at work due to training seminars (including the trauma training that made me re-evaluate my career path), and a workload unlike anything I have experienced in recent years.

There is a song by Mercy Me called Bring the Rain, and it captures how many people around me have felt this month.  If have the time, take a listen and reflect.

As I look back, June’s daily record of blessings may have been the ideal time, and the ideal coping strategy, to get through a month that was plagues with problems.  The problems surrounded our family.  If I hadn’t paid attention on a daily basis, I wonder if I could have maintained perspective.  I’ll never know.

Here’s a list of the blessings from June, despite the trials listed above:

1. Acceptance
2. Freedom to choose my ride (car, van, motorcycle)
3. Trees
4. Quiet time
5. Smiles
6. Safe and loving family
7. Encouragement
8. Not to have a drug addiction, to have a clinic that helps those who do.  That I contribute to the lives of children and families.  For a cup of tea in the quiet times.  That I am bigger than mosquitoes.
9. Monotony
10 and 11. Quality customer service, a son with patience.
12. Music
13. Not being a sports fan
14. Appreciate small events in an ordinary day
15. The love of others
16. Refreshing hope that ‘good’ is out there
17. My employer
18. Bug repellant 
19. Quiet, honest conversation with family
20. Teachers who are patient and compassionate
21. Health, and the medication that helps through challenges
22. To be a friend
23. Local public library
24. Memories of a positive childhood 
25. Relationships
26. To ride with a group who can enjoy the ride as a pack
27. Safety
28. Naps
29. Coffee, a humourous joke, a visit with a friend
30. Ordinary days

With that, I reflect and see very few earth shattering moments, but I don’t think that’s what it is all about.  Being able to find the small blessings in a typical day that helps us to manage during the difficult times when life surrounds us with a sense of hopelessness.

Thank you to those who joined me on the month long journey.  It was the most popular post on my blog over the past month.

Keep looking for the small blessings in your life.  Everyone has a story, without the blessings, no story is complete.


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