A video has gone viral of a father singing The Beatles’ “Blackbird” to his dying son right after he lost his wife to an emergency cesarean section. This situation is about as terrible as they come: a normally joyous occasion turned on its head with a sudden loss of everything important. First we should pray to Our Lady that She intercede for Chris, that she helps him move forward through this time of sadness. Second, we should pray for his wife, Ashley, and his son, Lennon, that they find their way to their eternal home in Heaven.
Thirdly we should let stories like this teach us gratitude.
It is so easy to get wrapped up in our daily lives or become fixated on things that frustrate us. Our lives can change in the blink of an eye making our dog knocking over the garbage, our spouse forgetting something and making us go to the store a second time, or our children being too fussy fade quickly into our peripheral. Look at your family situation for all the good that’s held within, not at the less-than-ideal issues. Look at how sweet your wife kisses you when you go to sleep, not at her sometimes forgetful memory. Look at how your son looks into your eyes when you’re feeding him, not at how loudly he was crying before he got his food. Look at the happiness that surrounds you rather than the things that don’t go your way. Carry life’s small crosses with a smile so when life gives you an enormous cross to bear, you are more prepared. Just as the tree with deep roots can stand up to the worst of storms, the person with the deepest gratitude and faith will stand up to life’s biggest storms. Be gracious of everything in your life
I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
We are so used to asking for things when we pray; “Lord please give me strength…”, “Lord please help me through…”, “Lord please show me…”. We should really be looking to the perfect prayer Jesus taught us, the Our Father, as a blueprint for our imperfect prayers. We should begin every prayer praising The Father and all that we have before moving to the petitions that concern us. It is incredibly important that we express gratitude in our prayers regularly–not for God, but for us! Pray a rosary solely as a petition of gratitude for your employment. Use the time before Mass to offer up a thankful prayer for the happy week you had with your family. Every time you say your nightly prayers, begin with the things you’re thankful for from the day.
Don’t let frustrations and the daily grind wear down your spirit. Always seek to avoid the possibility of being caught in a mindset you may regret when tragedy strikes your life. When you see your family tonight make sure to let each individual member know that you are grateful for them and why–and then do it regularly for as long as you live.
God bless Chris, Ashley, and Lennon.