This week, it is difficult to be thankful. Not because I had too little sleep; with the temperatures going down, Calvin's sleep schedule has actually improved. It is not because of a friend moving away or the kids acting out beyond belief. It's because of a much greater human tragedy. It's been all over the internet, seen by millions and shared by many. On Thursday night, I finally mustered the courage to click on an article describing the tragedy of the Kurdi family from Kobane in Syria. Fleeing from the IS terrorizing the area, they made it to Turkey. From there, the family entered a small rubber boat that was to bring them to the Greek island of Kos, to Europe, to safety. Only a few minutes into the journey, the boat capsizes, the person who is supposed to bring them to Greece swims back to the coast and leaves the families to their own devices. The two sons of the Kurdis drowned; their mother drowned as well. Shortly after the tragedy at sea, little Aylan's body is washed up at the Turkish coast, and a picture of his poor little drowned body goes around the world, as symbol of so many men, women, and children dying on their quest for something that should be a basic human right and a given for all people: peace and safety. A little boy, laying face-down on the beach, scooped up in the arms of a Turkish policeman. On a desperate journey to provide all that to his family, Abdullah Kurdi lost everything. Three innocents lost their lives, among with many more that day, and on many days before and after that.
In honor of Aylan, his brother, mother, and all the other people who have lost their lives at sea, died of hunger, thirst, and exposure on their way to safety, I am thankful for:
1. Being able to hold our boy. Thursday night, I slept with Calvin, I simply needed to feel his warmth, this breath, hear his little mutters in his sleep to sooth me.
2. Being able to hold and hug the girls, listen to their laughter, their arguing, their running around the house, no matter how often we tell them to slow down.
3. Safety for our entire family to sleep peaceful at night.
4. A good education for all of our kids that fits their abilities and interests.
5. Enough food to eat every single day. And then some.
6. Shelter from rain, cold, and heat, and a very comfortable one at that.
7. Living in a stable democracy, with a strong economy.
8. Having everything we need and more, and even most of the things we want.
9. Being in a position to travel for fun, not to be forced to leave our home to seek refuge.
10. My husband, our children, our parents, our friends, all being safe and sound.
Right now, more so than usual, it is important to be thankful for the little things in life, which, however, are the very essence and base for our happiness.