Here is another thing for which to be thankful. It is obvious, and perhaps it is surprising that I have not mentioned it earlier. Yet, sometimes it is the most obvious things that we tend to overlook and forget about.
In any case, I am thankful for my relative good health. Oh, there are aches and pains, of course. After all, just like everybody else, I am getting older, and so have sustained some bangs and bruises along the way. My back tends to ache fairly regularly, although it is nothing like the two or so months back in 2008 or 2009, when I first found out firsthand about sciatica. It was almost like torture at times, and holding any position for too long - whether standing, sitting, or lying down - could be excruciating. It would take a long time to fall asleep, because before too long after getting comfortable, there would be a need to move, and it would be urgent, lest the pain grow severe. Then, once a position was found, it was okay for a while, until once again, the pain would start to grow, and another shift was needed. So, it took longer - much longer! - to actually fall asleep.
And don't even get me started on sneezing! When I felt the need to sneeze, I would stop what I was doing, and would put my back up against a wall, or the back of a chair, or whatever else was available, and then try to contain the sneeze to the extent possible, so as to minimize the risk of throwing out my back once again.
That lasted about two months, and the sciatic pain moved from my back to my leg. It did not just go away, it shifted, and that was scary. For a while there, when the pain had lasted a long, long time, it began to be difficult to believe that there would be a time when it no longer hurt. Yes, at that point, it felt like this might be the new reality, the new normal, and this was a scary thought!
Yet, it did go away, eventually. Oh, I get some back pains every now and then, and some have been relatively severe. But nothing like that, and nothing that has lasted anywhere near as long as that, for that matter.
Beyond that, however, I am relatively healthy. No major diseases (at least none that I am aware of, or that have become overly obvious for the time being). I was not born missing any limbs or anything, or with some other debilitating condition. My body has remained relatively clean and healthy, and the blessings of sight, of hearing, and being able to walk on two legs and effortlessly use two hands and speak with a normal mouth are all things that I have taken for granted, mostly. Only on occasion has it really resonated that some people lack some of these basic benefits. Some are relegated to a wheel chair, or never knew what it was to see or to hear, or perhaps had it taken away from them. Some people get involved in some sort of accident or another, and perhaps they lose something. I have a friend who just lost his right leg, had it amputated. It is one of those things that is easy to take for granted, until something or someone wakes you up to the real possibility that these kinds of things happen, and more frequently than perhaps we often think about.
For that matter, I would be remiss if I did not count my blessings for the health of my loves ones - particularly my son. When he was about to be born, there were a couple of scares. About a week or so before the due date, she was losing fluid, and that meant that one way or the other, the birth would have to be induced if it did not come naturally first. And as it turned out, it did have to be induced. Also, his stomach was a little too small and underdeveloped at the time, and this was obviously a concern, an a potential complication that concerned us as parents.
Yet, as it turned out, he came out just fine, the delivery went as smoothly as likely was possible, and he has proven to be quite the healthy and happy boy, for which I feel truly blessed.