Pausing to Reflect

Charles Dickens said, ” Reflect on your present blessings, of which every man has many, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” With that quote in mind, I’d like to share a few of my recent blessings.


At midnight Saturday night, the phone rang and a male voice said, “Are you Rose’s mom?”

My heart stopped.

Bear in mind that I live three hours away from my daughter. And although her given name is Rose, that isn’t what we usually call her. Unless, of course, we are annoyed with her. So this sounded like bad news.

It was, but not the disaster I freaked about in the two seconds it took the man to explain. It seems he had found my daughter’s purse in a movie theater. Her cell phone was attached, so he pushed the phone number labeled “Mom and Dad” to see if he could reach her. Her dad and I prayed for her. He went right back to sleep. It took me a little longer.

Turns out she had entrusted her purse to someone else, something she swears she will never do again. But I found this out later. About 2 AM, when she finally answered the messages I had left for her. The miracle is that all her credit cards and cash were still inside her purse, along with her Social Security card and birth certificate (which she had out to fill out some papers for work and are now put safely away).

I think some guardian angels were at work there. And while losing the things in her purse would have been a major catastrophe, that would have been NOTHING compared to what went through my mind when I answered the phone.


A few days ago, the hubby came home from work and told me he had fallen. Hard. He wanted me to check the lump on his head, which I did. And the bruise he had elsewhere. Which had not appeared yet. I didn’t think the fall was a big deal, although I put some antibiotic ointment on his head, which had bled a little.

Two days later, his biggest bruise is the size of his hand, and he still has a lump on his head. Along with a bruise.

The reason this is a blessing is because he was not alone, as so often happens, when he fell. There were people there who could have helped him had he needed it. Also, despite the size of the lump on his head, he did NOT have a concussion. And although, given the size of his bruise, he must have fallen hard, he did not break any bones. Again, guardian angels did their job.


This one was just a gift, I think.

After twenty-eight years of being married to a railroader, I am used to having my schedule disrupted. Often. The husband has to plan his vacation around the vacations of other people as well as around what is happening at work. Mine, which depends on the school schedule, is a little easier to handle.

Which is why I was disappointed when he told me he could not take another week of vacation while I was still home. But I have learned to deal.

Today he is inspecting track with his assistant. Now, I have to say that this assistant is sort of a blessing embedded in this blessing. He takes his work as seriously as my husband does, which eases things for my husband to a manageable level.

Normally, the assistant does his job, and my husband does his. They don’t often get the chance to ride together. But since they had the chance today, they talked about vacations. And guess what? Turns out it is better for the assistant to move his vacation UP, as his wife works for a school system as well. Which means my husband can take his vacation. With me. Which is really nice.

In I Thessalonians 5:18, St. Paul tells us to “give thanks in everything, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I often have things to be thankful for, I know. But I don’t always have the eyes with which to see them.

I thought I ought to give thanks now. While I can see.

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July 2006
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