As Thanksgiving approaches here in the United States, many people across the country have been sharing what they are thankful for on their blogs, websites, and social media profiles. And to help even more people do the same, we’ve turned our Facebook page into a place where parents who’ve been touched by preterm birth can express their gratitude with our Countdown to Thanksgiving posts. The response, as we expected it would be, has been awesome.
The truth is that sometimes moms and dads of premature babies (and the kids those preemies become) can use a little prompting when it comes to seeing the good stuff. Please don’t read disparagement into that sentence – we hope you know that all of us here at Graham’s Foundation believe in the strength and resilience of parents who come to us for support after preterm birth! It’s just that when you’re in the NICU and maybe things look bleak, or you and your family are adjusting to a new reality and new expectations in the years following premature birth, it’s so easy to get caught up in crisis mode. To see the setbacks instead of the leaps forward.
Our NICU care package program is our high profile way of fulfilling our mission, but helping parents of preemies – big or little, sick or healthy, in the hospital or at home – see that they have plenty to be grateful for is another way we support families coping with prematurity.
Sure, life can look pretty dark sometimes when you’re suddenly thrust into a world of ventilators, feeding tubes, diagnoses that are difficult to understand, and projected outcomes that are so often meaningless when applied to individuals. But things will almost always look brighter when you give yourself permission to focus on the good things. Even if the good things are all mixed up with the not so great stuff – like that your preemie is getting exactly the care he or she needs in a great hospital or how strong your partner has been during all the hardship.
This week, we want to encourage every one of you to give yourself permission to count your blessings and to hold them in your hearts. Especially when life is difficult, because that’s when most of us need gratitude most of all.
So, what are YOU most grateful for?
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Graham’s Foundation!
Image: Wonderland via Flickr