Staying thankful when life sucks

Tough times have opened my eyes to the amazing community of friends and family we have

2016 is not proving to be my favourite year.

My wife, Rachel, has been off work for the entirety of the year to date due to long-term health issues.

This has left me picking up the pieces and holding the fort. So I’m working full time, looking after our two daughters, and running the household. I can tell you: it’s hard work!

It’s not just this. My eldest daughter, Eloise, continues to have ongoing health challenges related to her chromosomal disorder (more details here & here).

And just because she felt she was missing out on health issues, Imogen (my youngest daughter) decided to have a night of vomiting last night. Joy!

And me? Well I’m in good physical health but feeling more than a little drained from all this. It has been the most trying time of my life.

That said, today I woke up feeling incredibly grateful. Not for what we’re going through, but for the community of people around us who are helping us through this time.

Every Tuesday, we have a friend who collects Eloise from school and takes her to her swimming lesson each week so she doesn’t miss out on that.

Another couple of friends regularly help out collecting Eloise in the morning and take her to school on the days I’m in work early.

Rachel’s parents spend several hours driving every single Wednesday to come and help out and look after Imogen (who isn’t in pre-school on Wednesdays).

Another friend regularly comes and collects Imogen on a Friday (another non-pre-school day) and looks after her all day.

And there are plenty of other friends too who have randomly dropped off meals for us, or taken the girls for a few hours on the weekend so I can have a little bit of me-time.

Then there’s family and friends who aren’t in a position to give as much practical support, but are always there to check we’re doing okay, and to offer encouragement and prayer support.

I am so thankful for all these people around us who are helping us through this time. It is deeply humbling to be so dependent on the support of others.

I wouldn’t wish what we’re going through on anyone, but it has made me appreciate the community of friends and family around us like never before.

I look forward to being able to pay forward all the support and kindness we’ve been shown to others when we’re back in a position of being able to.

And to all of you who are helping us through this time: thank you. Thank you so, so much.

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