A Heart Full of Gratitude
Written by Robyn O’Brien
The fact of the matter is that I never wanted to do this. I mean who really wants to have to a child with life-threatening food allergies? And what about families who have a child with autism, cancer or diabetes? Did they really say “Sign me up!”?
Not at all.
Yet, when reality threw me to the ground four years ago when the health of our children came under attack, I had two choices: to either lay there or to get up. And with four small children, I had no choice but to get up. And in the years since, it hasn’t always been pretty. But today, I am so enormously grateful for the health hardships that we’ve endured that my heart floods with emotions just thinking about it.
Because as our oldest child once said, “Mom, we’re lucky that Tory got food allergies or we wouldn’t have learned about all of the chemicals in the food.”
Yes, child. You are right. And those are wise words out of the mouths of a babe.
With 1 in 3 children in the United States now dealing with allergies, autism, ADHD or asthma, our family isn’t alone. This generation of children is not particularly healthy. Any mom can tell you that. With obesity, diabetes and other conditions impacting our families, parents are on the frontlines, fighting to defend the health of our children. And we’re doing everything that we can to make things better.
And while we can’t all do everything, we can all do something. And that ‘something’ will obviously differ from home to home and family to family. But the inspiring part is that we’re getting down to the business of making things right, of reducing our children’s exposure to chemicals in our food supply and environments, in the hopes that exercising precaution will help prevent disease down the road.
And as we head into Thanksgiving, I find myself flooded with gratitude for those that are working so tirelessly to restore the health of our children. Their work is heroic. Their efforts will have lasting impact. Because, though we may forget it at times when sitting in countless carpool lines or on the sidelines of soccer fields, the truth is that the children are our future.
So this Thanksgiving, I give thanks for those defending the health of our children. For those defending it as if the future of our country depends on it. Because…well, it does.