Grateful for Small Mercies

I know the saying is “God will never give you more than you can handle” … Dear God… we are fully booked, and we can’t handle any more for a while. Thank you!!!

This was a quote my sister’s husband posted. I write this sitting at her hospital bedside. She was hit by a car last week which left both of her legs and her arm badly broken. We all say how grateful we are she didn’t hit her head and seems to have no internal injuries. But at best that feels like a good news/bad news point of view as it breaks my heart to watch her begin what we know is a long journey to functioning normally.

I am reminded of a passage in the Anna Quindlen novel, One True Thing.

In the story, she described a family out for ice cream, just before their mother was diagnosed with cancer. The daughter in the story thought back on what she called “the last normal day they had” and reflected, “Afterward I wondered why I hadn’t loved that day more, why I hadn’t savored every bit of it like soft ice cream on my tongue, why hadn’t I known how good it was to live so normally, so everyday. But you only know that, I suppose, after it’s not normal and everyday any longer.”

I am mindful of the day before my sister’s accident as a normal day.

On my way to the hospital, I was so focused on getting here that I literally was “not seeing” the fleeting view in front of me. I realized the road was literally ablaze with the color of the trees. How often do I live, moving onto the next thing, and miss the blessings before me?

But today, I pulled over on the side of the road to look and thank God for the beauty of this day. I will be grateful, when I get up from writing this, that my legs and arms work. I will be grateful that I believe that prayer will support my sister’s healing. I will hug my brother-in-law for giving us all a prayer that made us laugh. I will not take for granted healers that can knit together shattered bones and kind caretakers that are an empathetic presence when they walk in the room. I will be grateful for the small mercies that help us remember to not lose hope even in the times when we long for the normal days.