Things We Take for Granted

This week has taught me a lot. I didn’t realize it until about midway through the week though.

Because sometimes things just have to hit us head-on before we realize that we cannot take anything for granted.

We take our voice for granted. Absolutely we do. We get up, tell our husband and kids “good morning” and start to begin our day.

Unless, of course, we wake up and we have laryngitis, that annoying pesky little inflammation of our vocal chords that says “I’m not letting you talk today! See how you like that!”

And suddenly, we can’t communicate, except by writing things down. Thank goodness for cell phones and texting, so at least I could make myself known to my family.

And for email at work. Of course the first day I had it, I received more phone calls than I usually get in a week! That was interesting! Fortunately everyone understood and ended up using email, but still….

At first, being the typical husband, Ben made jokes about it being a great birthday present for him that I couldn’t talk, but as the week progressed, he finally realized it wasn’t funny any more. Not only could I not talk, but I also developed a horrible cough at night, and ended up pulling muscles in my rib cage and stomach from it! Cough meds helped, but very little.

And every home remedy I tried…forget it! I even went to the doctor who told me, guess what, I had laryngitis and there’s nothing she could give me for it! Just don’t talk, drink hot tea with honey, etc.

I don’t like hot tea. I like it even less now.

And the longer it went on, the more frustrated I got. The more I tried to “talk” or should I say whisper, the more frustrated I got, and it was actually exhausting! I couldn’t communicate with my husband or our daughter except by texting because they couldn’t hear me.

Even going out for dinner for his birthday, I could only communicate with Ben by texting. Talk about frustrating! I was almost in tears after five days of it.

Then I realized….what’s it like to be like this permanently? Not speak at all? Or not to be able to hear? Or see? The things most of us take for granted others would give so much to have, even for a short time.

My voice is almost back now, but not totally. I’m still trying not to use it unless I have to so I don’t have a relapse.

It’s been a long week.

My story is but one small but frustrating example. It’s nothing compared to a woman I know who got a surprise call one morning this week that the fire trucks were at her house, and she needed to get home immediately! She’d certainly never even considered something like that happening. She sent her children to school, locked up the house and headed to work….and came home to a huge mess. Her stove evidently had a short somewhere which started the fire. The kitchen is gutted. Their belongings covered in soot and much of them wet and unsalvageable, and they face months of living somewhere else until insurance can repair the damage. But insurance cannot replace some of the precious photos and mementos that were lost.

Like all of us, they assumed their home would always be there, a safe haven and place of rest, housing their valuables and memories. We take it for granted, until that one time when everything changes.

Other people go to work one day, ready to make the day productive, and suddenly find themselves unemployed. A job they enjoyed, or certainly needed, a job they took for granted, is suddenly gone. And they have to start over, with only their unemployment check and an updated resume.

Many other people go to the doctor for a routine check-up, and end up with a life-altering and unexpected serious diagnosis. The health they took for granted is no longer healthy. And they look back on weeks past and wish they could go back.

There are many others. My story is minuscule in proportion, but nevertheless frustrating to me. And others around me.

But looking at it in comparison to other events, I do have to feel quite fortunate that’s my only frustration for the week.

And when I do get my voice back, I plan on making up for those lost days! But some people can’t make up for their losses; they have to start over. And I will probably eventually start taking it for granted again, because that’s just human nature.

Words of wisdom: Never, ever, take your life, or anything in it, for granted. Appreciate everything and every day. Because you just never know.

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