When my son is in the hospital, my wife and I take shifts staying overnight with him. That way there is always one coherent parent present when Drs and nurses come by. In this last 6 day stint, Monday was one of my nights off. When I got home I was so keyed up, I had to watch TV for a while before my mind would relax enough that I could sleep. I watch several comedy specials on Netfliks.
One of the specials I watched was Louis CK’s “Hilarious.” One of his bits was about Americans and their insistence on complaining while living in paradise. He was joking about what a miracle cell phones are; but that Americans constantly gripe about them being slow or not working properly. You have an amazing piece of technology. But instead of being in awe, you nitpick over slight inconveniences.
As I drifted off to sleep that night, I realized how whiney I can sometimes be. When my son is in the hospital, I bitch and moan to myself about how seeming unfair the universe is. But I miss the lesson of how incredibly lucky I am. I have access to a world class health facility. I have amazing doctors and nurses working round the clock to transform my son’s broken body into a working whole. I have great insurance that pays the bulk of my costs. I have a job with generous vacation that allows me to be present at all of his surgeries. I have constant access to the internet where friends and family show their love and support. I have a strong marriage with an incredible woman. I have a caring extended family.
In short, I have nothing to complain about. Nothing. Yes, my family was dealt a rough hand, but we have all of our bases covered.
I found my gratitude. Thank you to my family. Thank you to my friends. And thank you to the dedicated professionals that work at Children’s National Medical Center. I am in debt to the generosity of others.