Living a Life Filled With Gratitude, on Thanksgiving and Beyond

Columnist Joe MacDonald gives thanks for his greatest gift: his sons

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by Joe MacDonald |

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Today, as we take time to celebrate the gift of one another, I can’t help but think about the many trials my 16-year-old son, Caeleb, faced this year as a result of hemophilia.

As a child, Caeleb struggled with frequent breakthrough bleeds, which have left him with excruciating pain and limited mobility. Worry and stress weigh him down, and he struggles at times to give thanks for anything. In these moments, my heart breaks, and I feel absolute frustration because I can’t solve the problem. I can only walk beside him.

This Thanksgiving, I’m reminded to stop, look at him, and tell him, “I thank my God for you.” I want to impress upon him the importance of his role in the lives of his family and friends. I hope that the love my wife and I have for him transcends any feelings of gloom and despair he experiences while living with chronic pain. I pray he finds meaning in sharing his gifts freely with a world that needs the light within his soul.

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I also want to encourage all my loved ones to live a life of gratitude. I remind both my sons that while Thanksgiving is only one day, we can maintain an attitude of gratitude throughout the year.

I remind my boys that they came into my life as a gift, and my joy at their presence never leaves the deepest parts of my soul. My goal is to live a life so full of appreciation that whenever I speak with them, they recognize how much joy simply being their father brings me. In every word I utter, I hope they hear, “I thank my God for you.”

This Thanksgiving, may we remember to give thanks for our most remarkable gifts: our loved ones. May we hold them close and let them know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are a resource of hope, love, and companionship. They never have to feel alone in their struggles because we are walking right beside them, cheering them on to be their best selves. I pray that the spirit of hope may replace the gloom of despair and that, even in the worst of times, the light of peace shines brightly in the eyes of our dear ones.

My hope for all of us on this day is that the spirit of Thanksgiving may transcend all doubt and worry and that love may make its presence known in every moment.

And so, my dear Caeleb, I see you experiencing crazy amounts of pain. At times it seems unbearable. But when the greatest struggles come, know that I thank my God for you. Know that I love you wholeheartedly and that together we will face any monster that rears its ugly head. I wish you a life filled with gratitude.

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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