Counting My Blessings
It’s not often that I read something that just floors me, but this does:
And even thinking about that contrast is so Western, so decadent, so much the spoilt complaint of a woman who has running water and food and a house and an education and children who are safe.
That line has stuck with me for days now. It’s hauntingly beautiful and poignant and has made me think about all kinds of uncomfortable things this over this long holiday weekend.
It doesn’t take a lot of flipping through my posts to see that I am, indeed, a spoiled American woman. I’m privileged to have grown up in a stable family; my parents have been married – and happily so – to each other since 1973. I came along 4 years later with a younger sibling of each sex. We were all healthy and happy and while not wealthy, we lived happily and comfortably for the most part.
I married my high school sweetheart and we’re working on our 12 year of marriage. We have 2 healthy children, and though we have one who will never sleep in my arms, I’m grateful that I held that tiny spark of life in my body for the months that I did. The tragedy of that loss strengthened my marriage, and helped me appreciate the children in my arms even more. My husband has a job that affords us the economic stability to live comfortably – not just comfortably, but enough so that I can stay home with our children without worrying overmuch about bills.
I’ve never known hunger or been afraid for my safety. I’ve never had to put my children to bed not knowing if they’d have food the next day, or watched them suffer through an illness without having medical care literally moments away. I’ve never watched my father or my husband leave our home with the knowledge that he may never return. I’ve never known the very real fears and dangers and tragedies that many people across the world live with every day. I’ve never even known many of the fears and dangers and tragedies that some of my friends have lived through.
I’ve been extremely fortunate in life and love; in health and security, and I am thankful.
Thanks to Melissa for helping me remember that.