A THANKFUL LIFE
By Sue A. Fairchild
Nine days ago my mom turned seventy-five and, for that, I’m thankful. Yes, seventy-five is a huge milestone in a person’s life, but, for my mom, it’s an even bigger accomplishment.
Over thirty years ago, she was diagnosed with emphysema and given only a year to live. Her doctor at the time failed to educate himself on this pulmonary disease and quickly jumped to a conclusion that has proven to be very, very false.
His diagnosis put my mother into a state of depression. She sequestered herself in her bedroom, rarely emerging to be social or interact with her family. As a young child, I didn’t really notice. She was still my mom and, other than being “sick,” she seemed “normal” to me. But when I look back on photos now I can see the haunted look in her eyes and the ever present pink bathrobe. I wonder why it didn’t affect me as a child, but I’m thankful I simply loved her and accepted how things were.
As that year passed, and her health seemed to stagnate, my mother began to wonder, “What if the doctor’s wrong?” My father pushed her to get a second opinion and, finally, she agreed. That second doctor proved to be our family’s saving grace.
“You could live to be eighty,” he told her. “It is all how you look at it. If you fight, take the right medication…you could live to be whatever age you want.”
Now, at the age of seventy-five, it’s plain to see the second doctor (who remained our doctor for many years after that) was right.
Although the first diagnosis affected a portion of my mother’s life she cannot get back, something inside her pushed her to find another answer and we were blessed to find the second doctor.
I’m thankful the first doctor was wrong and I’m thankful the second doctor was right. In fact, he did better than being right. Through the years, he gave my mother hope and determination.
When she felt weak, he would give her advice and encouragement. He got her into an exercise program that, I believe, has prolonged her life even further. Even after he retired, if we ran into him at a store, he would hug my mother and ask how she was doing. His kind nature formed a friendship that transcended the doctor-patient one and helped our entire family to deal with this disease head on.
I could be mad at the first doctor. I could curse him for the year my mother spent in her bed. We could have sued him, or slandered his name. But what good would it have done? Instead, I choose to be thankful for that doctor who bolstered her spirits, who found the right medications for me and who chose to be her friend as well as her doctor.
Years later, that doctor has passed on, but my mother still holds tight to his encouragements and will tell you her story and how this doctor saved her life.
As I look at my seventy-five-year old mother now, I think, “She is amazing.” She’s outlived some in our family who had better health than she has. She fights every single day against the doctor who said, “You have only one year to live.” And even when she feels weak, depressed or attacked by her own body, she still fights on.
And, for that, I am thankful.
(Want to read more about my awesome mom? Check out this blog post!)
Sue A. Fairchild is a freelance editor who specializes in substantial edits and Christian writing. Her editing credits have included a suspense/thriller series, a fantasy series and numerous other genres. In addition, Sue is also a writer who has been published in Christian devotion magazines, two Chicken Soup for the Soul books, as well as self-published two novels currently available on Amazon (“What You Think You Know” and “Summer’s Refrain”) and is currently working on a third.
Sue’s attention to detail and passion for good writing assists her clients in making their work shine. She’d love to talk with you about editing your next big project! Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or email her (email@example.com) for a free consultation and estimate (max. 2 pages).
Wife. Mom. Author. Reader. Blogger. Amateur nature photographer. Chocolate eater. Encouraging you to surrender the good, the bad, and---maybe one day---the chocolate.
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