Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving -- On A Whole New Level...


Growing up I was always taught that Thanksgiving is a time to think about what we are grateful for -- the blessing we have in our lives.  I remember in Sunday School making little crafts often times listing the top ten things we are grateful for this past year.  In all honesty,  do we really actually take the time to think about just how grateful we are.  It's weird how our human minds work -- it's hard to recognize the good things in our life until they are gone.


This year my heart is overwhelmed and my mind is just about shot from the countless hours going back and thinking about the past four years.  Did I ever really thank God for life?  Not only my life but the life of my husband and the life of my children.  Life is such a funny thing.  We tend to think it's guaranteed -- and then *poof* one day it is gone.


I really feel in my heart that Adam and I tried to make the best out what we were handed over these past several years.  But I just have to think back at all the times I should have been thanking God and instead I was looking for a new day, a way out of our situation.  


Even when life seems unfair, when jobs stink and children are getting on our last nerves -- there is so much to be thankful for.  I remember the day before we took Gavin off the bipap -- I looked at the monitor and just prayed that one of those breaths would be triggered by his own little body.  Each time a breath was taken without the ventilator forcing the air in -- my heart jumped with such excitement. My entire being was so focused on each and every rise of my little boy's chest.  


 If only we lived each day as it was not only our last day of life -- but our last breath.  

God -- thank you for life. 


Becky said...

thank you karen for such an honest reminder! praying for you guys

Jill said...

i cannot remember how i came across your blog, but have been so touched by your family. you are in my prayers.

Tiffany Lockette said...

Missing your sweet Gavin's face and thinking of you guys. I know Thanksgiving will be so hard as each day is so hard. I wish I could ease the pain for you. My prayers are with you and your family.

Baylee and Blair's page said...

Wow... Karen... what a great post! I think you all are AWESOME parents! I think you GAVE life to your son in the short amount of time he was here. I look back at your posts and see your strength in taking him anywhere he wanted to go and giving him the greatest life!

Thank you for posting pics of sweet Gavin. He was such a handsome little boy!

Big Hugs!

Tamara said...

Thank you for this tender reminder. Your sweet gavin is so beautiful... I can just hear him giggling as he runs free in a meadow filled with the warmth of Gods love! Oh you are blessed... Thank you for reminding me to look at each moment as a beautiful butterfly!

Jodi R said...

VERY NICELY PUT Karen. Hope your family has a great Thanksgiving. We all have a lot to be thankful for! I think of
Gavin every day and we love looking back at all his pictures. Not too much will beat that smile of his.

Tiffani said...

that little face just warms my heart!!

very sweet and truthful words from you today..

Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving! We are all truly blessed, indeed.

Stephanie said...

Your post is definitely a lesson I needed to hear, a lot of probably do. Thank you! And thank you for sharing the pictures of your sweet boy.

Heather said...

I smile each time I pop on and see your beautiful boy's face.From an outsider's perspective Karen,I have ALWAYS come here and seen the gratitude that over flows from your honest and open heart.Thinking of you and sending you peace and love.

Last year in the midst of Zoey's new diagnosis,I played Steven Curtis Chapman's,"Miracle of the Moment",over and over.It brought with it,such clarity,of living in the now,in the very present,beautiful moment.Check it out if you haven't already heard it.

Jessica said...

Such beautiful truth in your words.
How caught up in day to day...getting by.
To be grateful for each moment as if it were our last breath.
Praying for your family this Thanksgiving.
Thanks for sharing your heart.
It really is glorious.

Tina said...

Well written. :)

Samantha Neider said...

Thank you so much for still sharing your special little man with us. I know I speak for countless others when I say, he touched us all and changed us for the better. Your strengeth and courage is so inspiring to not only myself but many other parents I am sure. May God bless and comfort you. Gavin will continue to live on in our hearts and your family will remain in mine forever!


Katrina said...

Beautiful pictures of Gavin! His smiles are amazing! Thank you for reminding me what's important. It's so easy to get caught up in the day and to forget to thank God. I pray peace over your family as you go thru the first holidays without your Gavin. Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless your family!!

Courtney said...

awesome perspective, karen. thank you. i needed it tonight...

Jimmy DeWan said...

praying for you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tyler's Mommy said...

stopping by to let you know how much our family is thinking of your family this thanksgiving.

your sweet reminder of just how much we have to be thankful of is perfect.

keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers.

Chelle Cates said...

Thank you for your message. I have been really down with the holidays approaching and realizing another year has gone by and all that has happened to us. You always seem to have the right words and I always draw encouragement from you and Adam. I am Thankful that God showed me your family. Happy Thanksgiving to you guys!!!!

Anonymous said...

I have followed Gavin's and your journey for some time from a link on Carter Cates site. As a hospital worker having spent more that 20 years with children, I learned a long time ago from a very special family to be thankful for the time you have with your precious children, as we are all on loan from God. Focus on the special times you created and be thankful you had as many as you did and were able to create, as many people get their children taken faster than anticipated and don't get to have the added memories. You are an awesome family, thank you for sharing with us!



Cindy Heintz said...

Thank You for reminding us of the things we often take for granted!! Thoughts and Prayers Always!
We Love you All

Aly Matt N Macy said...

My husband's cousin Kyna Leyva passed on the link to your blog a while back and I've been following since. You have set such an example about the power of our MIGHTY God and the healing that he brings. I'm so inspired by you and your family. I am amazed by the joy in Gavin's face while he lived a life in pain. I too am a mother and I can honestly say that I don't know how you do it... You are truely amazing and I thank God for your family and your story and the reminder you bring to all of us on this Thanksgiving!
You are in our prayers!!!
Aly Mallon

Sarah Thomas, Nora's mom said...

Beautifully written, thank you for sharing the wonderful happy pictures of sweet little Gavin and reminding us all of what we truly should be thankful for. I'm sure this Thanksgiving was hard without your sweet boy. We are still out here reading, praying and holding you close in our hearts. Your families strength is an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

"If only we lived each day as it was not only our last day of life -- but our last breath."
You sure nailed it for Thanksgiving on a whole new level.

Thank you Karen for sharing your thoughts and your family's life during such a difficult time.
Even though I do not know you, I have been so touched by your family and they are constantly in my prayers.

Kristi Cole said...

I just found out about Gavin's passing and I wanted to say how sorry I am to read this. I have been reading Gavin's site for some time now as he shared similar symptoms and treatments with my son Brody. Unfortunately Brody also passed away two months ago on September 29.

Brody's carepage-
Carepage Name-brodyjcole

Please contact me at if you want to talk.

Prayers of comfort for you and your family-

Kristi Cole