A few weeks ago Ryan was cleaning out the attic in his 100-plus year old house, and found boxes of very old family photos, including a few livestock photos (one of a very muscled, short bull), pictures of a train wreck near Bois D’Arc (decades upon decades old), class photos from his great-great grandparents’ school days and more. My, how times have changed. We just have to look to nations like Haiti to see how our advancements have helped us live better, healthier and happier, even in our own times of peril.
It seems everytime I’m afforded the chance to write something in this paper, I’m obliged to discuss something else to be thankful for. I just don’t see how we could look around us each day without thankfulness. My time in Brazil and Africa made me see how blessed we as a nation are… and the images we’ve all seen coming out of Haiti acutely accentuates that reality.
A few weeks ago my dad slipped on the ice and broke his ankle. A titanium rod and several pins later, he’s been on a slow and painful recovery since. It’s been tough on my mom, as primary caretaker, and if you know my dad, you know he’s not too keen on his bed-ridden status. But he continues to recover, day by day. On the same day my dad fell, the earthquake shook Haiti. Thanks to living in what’s truly the best country in the world, we weren’t terrified for dad’s life with an ankle break. He was given pain medication and antibiotics, he has been under the care of doctors, nurses and my mom’s watchful eye, with extra attention from family and friends, day and night, in the comfort of his home.
One night, in the middle of the night, mom said she was up with dad, trying to make him comfortable, when she thought back to a time, maybe even earlier than what we saw in Ryan’s photos of the early part of last Century, a time when a broken ankle meant pain and suffering, and might’ve meant death. When the doctor’s methods were primitive and infection was likely. Mom realized things could be much, much worse. I don’t make light of my dad’s pain, in any way, because he has suffered. I’m just thankful for the access he’s had to medical care and pain medication. When I hear on the radio of the stories of the Haitian people who’ve been sitting for weeks with broken legs, arms, ankles… all without any pain medication, without the care of a doctor, and without even a home to rest and recover in, well, it makes me thankful for what we have here. It makes me cry for those less fortunate. It makes me glad our country has advanced medically so that my dad didn’t have to suffer as much as he would have had to 100 years ago. It makes me thankful that our country has supported medical research, so we have advancements we can share with other countries in desperate need.
I hope you’ve found a way to help the victims in Haiti. Or give back in some other way to your community. Sometimes I feel it’s the least we can do for all the blessings we have to count in our lives. It’s a lot to think about.
God Bless,


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