A good theme

“The plot you choose may change or even elude you, but being your own story means you can control the theme.” – Toni Morrison

We are back home after staying just one night in the hospital after Eliza’s surgery last Tuesday. The hips look good, but the IV was harder this time. They ended up having to sew a central line into her neck, but the good news is there were no real complications with the actual anesthesia. It wasn’t necessarily easier this time around…I was just as scared and sad to watch them wheel her away and just as relieved and grateful to have her back in my arms. I guess those things don’t change no matter how many times you walk the same journey.

I’m growing impatient now, though, and feeling more tired than I did before this latest surgery. Maybe it’s because Derrick has been on such a tough and time-consuming rotation. Maybe it’s because Amelia has been sick or because we have to start from square one with Eliza’s helmet. Maybe it’s just that I need a break that never seems to really come, and as much as people want to help (and absolutely do), there’s just not an easy way to hand over all the responsibilities that come with watching my girls even for an evening…another truth about parenting. It’s joyful beyond belief but also so demanding, so exhausting at times.

But I am letting Toni Morrison’s words sink in and remembering that while I may not always choose my plot, I can choose my theme. And if my theme were summed up in one word, it would unquestionably be gratitude. I know I keep writing about it, but it just keeps coming up. I think it’s because I continue to find myself at new crossroads where I have to decide whether to pull the covers over my head or greet the day. It’s not always an easy choice.

Like love, gratitude can be a feeling, but it is more often a practice, a choice. And even now as I write this, I can feel my heart calm just a little…and as I continue to sit in gratitude, the depth of it overwhelms me. The meals, the prayers, the messages, the nights of lying beside my favorite person in the whole world even if I haven’t gotten to see him all day, and of course, my sweet baby girls. To think God loves us even more than we love our own children is almost too much to fathom! But if I am going to be overwhelmed with anything, it should be by all there is to be grateful for…so I choose that. A good theme to any story, to any life.

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