November of 2010, I wrote a post about how I was alive.
That may seem somewhat odd to you, but I figured some people in my life needed the reminder, since I hadn't, you know, seen them. In years.
I suffer from migraine headaches, which is a mild way of saying that I am functioning despite being dead. At about three pm every weekday, I get my onset (the brain's way of telling you that pain's a comin; some folks get auras, some get phantom sensations - I get angry, really really angry - great for my working environment), and by about 5 pm, I get severe pain. I'm light and sound sensitive (love that drive home), and feeling, for all the world, as if a nail is being driven into my occipital cavity. I am usually forced to seek bed rest.
Every weekend, it starts around the time I wake up. I've been missing church, I've been missing Boy Scout meetings with my oldest son, I've been missing any kind of life not involving work.
My biggest fear in life is that the onset periods will start earlier and earlier, forcing me out of my livelihood. I can't stand the thought. I am also worried for the health and sanity of my long suffering wife, who has to pick up the slack for me on top of her already full plate raising four children while carrying our fifth.
I love my kids, and I want to be there with them, raising, teaching, and playing. I miss my church; I don't get to go all that often lately; I've already had to withdraw from the volunteer work I did there.
That said, I want you to know how grateful I am to God.
I could look on this as some kind of weird punishment God is inflicting on me; others have raised the possibility to me. But I don't think that's what's going on. Quite the opposite.
I have, prior to the headaches, undervalued my life. I am living in the wealthiest nation on Earth, blessed with many children, a good home, material wealth beyond my needs or even expectations, and a wonderful, wonderful marriage. And despite all this, I was always looking for "what's next", what's up and coming, what is it that I want and have yet to acquire.
I don't feel that way any more. I have had a chance to see my life from a very different perspective, and I feel blessed beyond measure to have as much as I do. What's a little pain, compared to the horrendous suffering going on in Africa, Sri Lanka, parts of India, heck, pretty much anywhere on a globe that's not blue that you'd care to stick a pin except here?
I saw this the other day:
.. and I think it sums up what I'm trying to say. Thank you, God. It hurts, but at least I'm still here to feel it.