Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Best of Everything - Letter Received

In The Best of Everything, I asked if you had something that you considered the "best". Here is a letter I received by email that reminds us that our children are the best and that sometimes, the best things are those we might take for granted:

Dear Junosmom,

In my early years, my family was poor. I worked from the time I was 14. There are some things I truly appreciate and would miss. Let's begin with a little thing. I love having a coffee grinder and buying coffee beans (water processed decaf) to grind each morning for two or three cups of coffee. I love having a top loading Maytag Neptune clothes washer. I know I would miss having the ordinary clothes dryer which sits next to it. I like being able to wash and dry anytime I like and almost anything fabric.

Many people take having an air conditioner and furnace for granted. I have to say, I know what it is like not to be cool when it is torrid outside and what it is like to freeze indoors when it is cold outside. I am grateful that we have always had both when needed during
our marriage.

I have also always had my own vehicle to drive. I can go where I want, when I want. Not everyone has that, which many take for granted. I have had a dishwasher most of my married life but I don't mind hand washing so much as I would mind going out to a laundromat. When I have had to do that, it hasn't been pleasant. I enjoy having a
refrigerator with filtered water dispenser and icemaker.

I am grateful for the warmth and comfort of our waterbed, which we have slept in since 1982. We have had a pool and spa at home since 1990. For me, the spa is something I would miss a great deal. It is heavenly to soak in its warm water under the stars. I rarely find the pool warm enough, but when I do go in, I must admit to loving the luxury.

For the most part, my working life ended in 1983 when our older son was diagnosed with leukemia and I needed to stop my part-time job to be at home. I did substitute teach a little when he was in primary school but only occasionally for a couple of years when his health was strong.

Brian was born in 1980. This time of year, in November, when he was 3, he was diagnosed with leukemia. He survived 5 years. Most people assume a cure after that time. That spring, he had a relapse and underwent chemotherapy a second time. He made it through the three years of therapy and then relapsed again. He was twelve years and four months old at the start of this relapse.

One of his sisters was a perfect match so he underwent treatment again, followed by a bone marrow transplant on President Clinton's inauguration day. He suffered an infection before the transplant took hold and died March 12, 1993.

He would have been 13 on July 4, 1993. Like his sisters, Brian was labeled gifted by the schools. He admired President Lincoln and wanted to be a judge. The world missed out and we miss him.
Brian is survived by his two healthy, loving and successful adult sisters and his autistic little brother, whom I homeschool. Nobody would want to trade places with my life. I am grateful for a loving husband whose salary allows me to be at home in relative luxury.

--From Southern California

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