Saturday, September 5, 2015

Week In Review - Ten Things Of Thankful (116)

Ten Things of Thankful



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.

22 comments:

  1. I see we both had the same thought this week, that the tragedy of the people fleeing Syria has to make us feel very thankful, and yet, some of our things are still hard to deal with, but nothing like that.

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    1. It's simply unbearable, the picture of this little boy. I can't even fathom the pain of this father. Yes, it is a tragedy; we have refugees in our town, and we're going to donate a bunch of stuff to get them ready for the winter. Unfortunately all we can do at this point..

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  2. Such a beautiful post. This has bothered me all week. It just seems like the sight of that little boy on the beach should have resulted in so much more action. What do we do?

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    1. Well, it seemed to have put pressure on the UK government, who now commit to take in more refugees. Germany is taking in several thousands more who were stranded in Hungary, and politicians here in Europe are working hard on reminding ALL member states that it must be a joined effort. People are coming together to help the people who have escaped the unthinkable to settle in their new, temporary accommodations. Little things are happening, and I hope that a lot more is going to happen. Soon!

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  3. I haven't read any of the articles about the Syrian family. After years of working with migrant workers who leave their families at home to help package the food that goes on our tables, I just can't. I can't read about tragedy of this scale while people who are lazy, unhealthy, rude, obnoxious, and otherwise MAKE themselves unlikely to be hired, claim immigrants are stealing "their" jobs. Our government arises from a democratic system, and if the majority fear immigrants then they will elect officials who clamp down on the number of refugees allowed into our country, and always there will be groups and megalomaniacs who will prey on the fears of the uneducated, the ignorant and the ill-informed.

    During these times, all we can do is be grateful for the simple pleasures and safeness our lives allow us.

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    1. I sometimes wished I did not look at the picture, because it haunts me. But I felt as if it was my duty to pay my respects by acknowledging it. We do have groups here, mostly the radical right (Neo-Nazis), who are putting refugee accommodations on fire, attack people, protest. But luckily, they are the minority here, and many people are actually rallying to help. But I definitely see your point; the people fighting migrant workers or immigrants in the States definitely have forgotten their heritage. Most people living in the U.S. nowadays have immigrants at some point in their family tree.

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  4. It's the little things that add up to the big things in life:)

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    1. Most definitely, Kim. I hope you enjoy the little things this week!

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  5. Abominable tragedy leads us to appreciate the small, but hugely basic, things in our lives that we forget are not available to everyone. You said this beautifully.

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    1. Thank you so much, Val. The tragedy is difficult to bear, I can't even fathom the pain the father is going through right now. Definitely a huge reality check again..

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  6. That image is so heart-wrenching. I pray will be more international pressure and attention to the terrible situation. Just today, I was telling my husband how easy it is for us to grumble about non-issues and how something like this gives us perspective.
    Your post touched my heart. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you so much, Corinne! I really appreciate your kind words! It is heart-wrenching. Remove the background, add a carpet and some toys strewn around, and it could almost be the picture of a kid fallen asleep while playing. But this poor little boy will never play again. I hope you have a very peaceful and happy week!

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  7. Such a sad story! They just wanted a better life. Thank you for such a great reminder of how good we have it.

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    1. Thanks so much, Dyanne! I watched a documentary on border control cops at the moment, and they sometimes say they find little kids on a train, with nothing but a few euros in their pockets and a sign with their name and intended destination around their necks. How desperate do parents have to be to give up their kids like that? It must be unbelievable despair!

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  8. The rest of the world need to do what we can, but will we? I can only hope so.

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    1. Things are happening here in Europe. I'm not up-to-date with the US-stand in that issue, but I do hope that they are doing their part in providing humanitarian aid. Thank you so much for your comment, Kerry!

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  9. You summed up the situation perfectly and expressed what so many are feeling.

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    1. Thank you so much, Pat! I hope you have a wonderful week!

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  10. Ugh! Why are my comments disappearing today!!!???
    The whole thing is so sad, so tragic, and I often find myself (naively, I think) wondering how such things can exist in this world, in this time. Some days the only thing that makes any of it a bit better is to hold those little ones close.
    Beautiful post my friend.

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    1. Thank you so much, Lisa! Calvin sure got extra-cuddles this week, as did the girls. Holding my children close does help against the pain a bit.

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  11. I am glad to see that countries across Europe are taking refugees in. I pray they continue to do so.
    It is impossible to imagine the horror that so many people are living through right this minute.
    So many of us in the US are completely unable to see how fortunate we are to live in the place we do. We bicker and argue over the most ridiculous things, because we don't know what real suffering and hardship feels like.

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  12. What an empathetic and powerful TToT!!

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