People are suffering. The country is divided. States are imposing limits on items that may be purchased, and businesses are closed. If there were ever a year to skip Thanksgiving, this would be it.
At least, that is what some people think, but I am not one of them. It takes quite a bit for the parent of a child with a rare disorder to give up. Given all I have encountered since my first son, Julian, was born 24 years ago, I refuse to allow letting go of things for a season to get the best of my spirit.
My positive outlook has not always been easy to maintain. I have an amazing teacher that educates me daily. At times, this teacher pushes me to my limits. I never imagined that hemophilia would be the most influential teacher in my life.
Leaving painful memories in the past is a good thing. Revisiting those memories is not something I enjoy, but Facebook regularly reminds me of past events with its “On This Day” feature.
During the Thanksgiving season especially, Facebook reminds me of the weeks spent in the hospital with my youngest son, Caeleb. Hemophilia caused my family a huge amount of stress when Caeleb was younger. His knee and ankle bleeds would last for weeks on end, and one year in particular, our family was at the hospital more than we were at home. Hemophilia was the center of our lives.
Facebook reminds me of the days when pushing my son in a wagon from his hospital room to the play area was the highlight of the day. Gathering the strength for the voyage was not always easy for my then 7-year-old son. Today, I choose to focus on the fact that he stands taller than Julian, my husband, and me.
While I could be upset that Julian is unable to travel home to be with us for Thanksgiving, I am choosing to be joyful because he is cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year. While we will be hundreds of miles apart, we will still visit and cook together via FaceTime.
He is not suffering from bleeds, rather he is taking care of his hemophilia and living an empowered life as an adult away from home. His struggles with bleeds are a distant memory. They are an important part of his past, but I give great thanks for his future.
It may be more difficult for some to find thanks this season, but as the mother of sons with a rare, chronic illness, I have learned that it is important to find the good in everything. Maybe I am a little Pollyannaish, but I know what it is like to live in grief and sorrow.
Today I choose thankfulness. Will you join me?
Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.
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