Life is Too Short to Not Get it Right
By Chef David Hall
Every now and then we need gentle reminders of how blessed we truly are. A little over a week ago I got a not-so-gentle reminder from my sister.
A few weeks ago my sister was not feeling well and having trouble keeping food down. She went to her doctor who requested some tests. After the doctor reviewed the information, she returned for what she thought was a typical doctor/patient consultation. Instead, he told her he was referring her to another doctor because he was out of his league with this case and she needed a doctor who could perform a Whipple procedure. My dad called me and gave me the news, saying she was going to travel a very rough road and to pray for her and her husband, as the doctor told my brother-in-law to clear his calendar for the next few months.
Not knowing what a Whipple procedure is, I “googled” it and found it is a major surgery for the treatment of pancreatic cancer! Technically the procedure is called a pancreaticoduodenectomy operation involving multiple organs. Her particular surgery involved removing the gall bladder, part of her stomach, part of the pancreas and the first and second portions of the duodenum, then re-plumbing not only her digestive system but the associated vascular blood supply lines to all those organs.
After some post-operative complications, and one week later, she is now out of the ICU. To date, she has not yet eaten, as she is having food pumped directly into her small intestine to sustain her while her stomach is healing. Still having tubes going into her stomach, through her nose, to pump out water from the ice chips she can much on, makes me pause and seriously consider how blessed we are to have and enjoy life, not to mention meals every day.
While many of you reading this have Celiac disease, or know someone who does. As my wise wife says, “Remember, we all have something.” She tells me that when I start complaining about my relatively small aches and pains associated with a back injury. We, including the “me” part of we, need to put things into perspective and celebrate each day and each other while we are able to so, instead of focusing on our daily trials. Life is just too precious and just too darn short to take for granted, and not count, every blessing bestowed upon us. It is too short to not appreciate the blessing of good people who come across our paths and in and out of our lives. So let’s “get it right,” and be the blessing we are called to be by simply recognizing those who have blessed us, and tell them so.
There are many people in my life I need to tell “Thank you” for you, letting them know how special they are. I will start with my beautiful wife, right now, before she leaves for work. After being with my sister in the hospital today, I’m making calls to many of those who have shown me that they care. I would also like to thank those of you in the Celiac support groups who have blessed me with your kind words and feedback. You make a difference.
Lastly, here is a challenge. Take a sheet of paper and as quickly as you can think, write down the blessings in your life. Save that sheet of paper in a special place. When you feel really down, or like the world has taken a dump on you, get that sheet of paper and start reading.
Take care of yourselves and each other, and don’t forget where you put that paper.
Chef David Hall