Sunday, July 11, 2010
Blessings of Cystic Fibrosis
My father has a list of Clark Family Rules. For a long time I really was annoyed at the last one: Be Thankful For Your Troubles. But I was young and really didn't have many troubles. At the time I thought life was suppose to be pretty much as smooth as possible. So smooth that you never have to be sad, or upset, or frustrated, or suffer. A smooth as silk life where everything works out perfectly. I realize now that that is exactly what defines us, what shapes us, what tells God, well maybe not God, because God all ready knows, but tell us what kind of person we are. Am I patient? Am I longsuffering? Is my love unfeigned? Am I kind? As I look at Mary Deane, I think she is blessed to have this trouble of CF. She has a jump start on realizing life is just not very smooth. Most children are self absorbed and rightly so. Starting life is hard. Think of all the stuff you have to learn in such a short period of time so you really do need to concentrate on yourself, on getting yourself straight on this bumpy path of life. But so much of Mary Deane's carefree life of a child is interrupted by medicines, hand sanitizer, chest thumping, hand sanitizer, nebulizing, hand sanitizer, coughing and more hand sanitizer. Part of me wants to not have this a part of her life but then the other part knows she is blessed to have something from the very beginning that reminds her life is not smooth for a reason. Life is for getting back to God. We all have CF, figuratively speaking--some trouble, that, if we are thankful for it, will get us back to God. And my father knew that being thankful implies a whole change of attitude, an embracing of life, a willingness to learn, because there is no protection against troubles. They happen. In the novel Extremely Loud, Incredibly Close (thank you, Jordan) the grandmother says: You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness. I know Divine, Pearl, Seth, Olive, Lucy, Avery, Hazel, Eli, Avery, Clover, Ivy and the two cuties coming in the next months will have their troubles, stumbling blocks, disappointments, devastations, physical and emotional trials and sadness. I pray they will think carefully about that last Clark Family Rule and get it sooner than their grandmother.