I wanted to share a sort of profound experience that I had last night.

Over the past week, our two sons (ages 4 and 1) had to be taken to the emergency room at different times and for different reasons. On Tuesday night, our 4-year-old was admitted to the hospital for tests, antibiotics, and monitoring. Since our younger son needs to stay home for at least 10 days because of his illness, my wife and I took turns staying over night at the hospital with our older son. Last night was my turn. When I got to the hospital, he was all hooked up to his IV and was watching a movie on TV. So, I got comfortable on the fold-out chair they have for parents and began to read. I then stopped, looked out the window and noticed how beautiful the rain was dripping off the roof of the hospital. I suddenly experienced a wave of gratitude wash over me.

I was overwhelmingly grateful for the rain, for my son, for the movie he was enjoying, for the IV in his arm, for the plastic that made up the IV, for the scientists who invented plastic, for his medicine, for the scientists who invented the medicine, for the plants that gave their lives to be made into the medicine, for the chair I was sitting in, for the sheets that warmed my son, for the doctors and nurses and everyone who worked at the hospital, for the medical programs that the doctors and nurses trained in, and even for their parents and ancestors who made it possible for them to be there for my son at that exact time…

All of this happened in a very short time. I was grateful for all this and more and saw clearly the connection of all these many and varied things. It was very moving.

Good news: my son came home today, and we’re all trying to take it easy for the next few days. Of course, that’s not always easy with two children as it is, much less with two sick children! But, I am reminded of that experience and see the importance of being grateful for everything.