I was in the bathroom at a local wine bar, out for a much needed date night with my husband, when I saw this poster for the first time. Created (but never used) as British propaganda during World War II, the poster was meant to tell the British people that though things may seem in disarray with the Nazi invasion of the UK, they should “take a deep breath, and keep going about their business.” I took one look and knew that it would be my new mantra. You see, we had just spent one week in our local children’s hospital because my daughter had cancer. The date was December 22.
I won’t go into the details (you can read them here), but essentially, after being cleared of cancer once, it looked like the cancer had come back. We spent the week before Christmas in the hospital, wondering what would happen to our little girl. Being in the hospital, away from our other child, was to put it mildly, not fun. But the staff and hospital volunteers really did their best to keep things cheerful. Dinner was brought in for the parents. Gifts were handed out to the children. Activities took place to occupy the kiddos’ minds. Though this put a sense of cheer in the place, it wasn’t real. We were told our daughter was sick, and though my husband and I kept up a facade for her, we were frightened. Frightened of what the tests would find, frightened of our daughter losing her hair, frightened of what the next day would bring.
But though we were beyond scared, we knew we were blessed. Things could be worse—she could have gotten a far worse diagnosis and have little chance for survival. We looked around and saw some of the other children who were sick and knew that though we weren’t in the best of situations, we weren’t in the worst.
So every year at Christmas, I look back on those days. As the time gets hectic, and it feels like I’ll never be able to get the shopping done, wrap the presents, or bake goodies for the neighbors, I take a deep breath, and count my blessings. It’s okay if I have dog fur on my floors or toothpaste in my sink—at least I have a healthy family. I realize this, and try to keep calm and carry on. Because after all, Christmas is not about who has the best holiday card, it’s about feeling blessed for what we do have, and helping those who need it most.
Mercy recognizes the stress we put on ourselves and our families over the holidays. They want to remind us that ‘Our greatest blessing is to see others blessed.’ One way we can do this is to pause, list our blessings, and share them with others. Let’s count our blessings together at www.ourblessingscount.com.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mercy. The opinions and text are all mine.