‘I was 34 weeks pregnant.’ I was afraid he wouldn’t get to see our new baby.’ ‘Love and generosity are never wasted,’ said the family after their father survives illness.

“I was raised in a home that was filled with empathy, compassion, love, and kindness. My parents took 12 years to conceive. Putting things down on paper has made me realize why our home was overflowing with thankfulness and love. Imagine waiting 12 years for something you’ve wanted your entire life, only to be given one. My parents were, and continue to be, tremendously appreciative.

It wasn’t until a few weeks before I became a mother that I realized the power of kindness. I was 34 weeks pregnant at the time. Cade, my husband, had been experiencing asthma-like symptoms, such as shortness of breath during exercising and when resting down. Over the course of three months, he had visited the same medical center several times. Cade decided to visit my GP after the fifth time when their recommendations were to take twelve puffs of this, five puffs of that, and antibiotics. He had an appointment with her on a Saturday morning, and she requested an x-ray. Cade and I awoke to raindrops on our roof and sweet kicks from within my belly on Monday. We went to work as usual on Monday. We had no idea that Monday, August 24, 2015, would turn our entire world upside down.

Cade’s x-ray showed an abnormality and he was called back for a CT scan. After getting a call from our GP explaining the situation, all I remember is collapsing to the floor of my classroom holding my tummy. My whole body went numb. I couldn’t function. At this stage, we had very little information, but we could sense by everyone’s urgency that it wasn’t good news. By Monday afternoon, we were at a lung specialist investigating a 15 cm shadow on Cade’s right lung.

The following few weeks are the weeks that remind me daily to keep perspective and practice gratitude. That sleepless nights and toddler tantrums are not legitimate fears. The fear that my husband might not meet our new baby is. I didn’t use google, but I knew that lung cancer was the leading cause of death in Australia. What was meant to be the most amazing time preparing to welcome our first child, turned into countless doctors’ appointments, endless tests, and terrifying panic, tears, and fears?

On September 11th, 2015, Cade was diagnosed with Follicular Non-Lymphoma. Hodgkin’s We were genuinely taken away by people’s generosity and goodwill from then on. Every day, family, friends, colleagues, and strangers go above and beyond! We had meals prepared, a fundraiser planned, people checking in on a daily basis, and, most importantly, Cade was never alone during treatment. We took solace in knowing that we wouldn’t have to face anything alone during such a difficult time.

Piper, our lovely daughter, was born two weeks after Cade began therapy. Our thankfulness notebook began with cancer. It has taught me to recognize the miracles and enchantment right in front of my eyes, to focus on what matters most, and to remember that someone is always wanting your daily reality. It has given us the gift of perspective for the rest of our lives.

After Cade’s main treatment, we discussed the prospect of having more children with his specialist. We got the all-clear, however, we were told it would probably take years. We decided to give it a shot with hope, not desperation. Miraculously, we fell pregnant the first time. We welcomed our beautiful baby boy, Hudson, exactly two years post-diagnosis on September 11, 2017. We have since added another little girl, Teal, and our family is now complete.

Along our journey, we have met many extraordinary people. I realize that all the things I’ve been given are not rights, but privileges. There are people without their five senses, and to have mine is a gift. I realize there are people who don’t have access to healthcare, and I’m lucky to live in a country where it is accessible. There are children who go without an education, what a privilege it is to have one. I realize there are people who have never met their parents, and to have mine is a gift. I live for the daily magic that surrounds us and realizes that every day your heartbeats are a privilege.

Being kind is really important to us in our family. We have firsthand experience with how much kindness counts, and we believe it is critical that our children understand the importance of being nice to others. In our house, we feel that the most effective method to foster compassion is to model it for them on a regular basis. Everyone can afford to give it as a present.

It is not necessary to spend money on the simple act of thinking of others. I could go on and on about sending a letter to a friend, dropping a kindness rock in a random’s letterbox, sending your children’s artwork to their grandparents, cooking a dinner for a new mom, doing a business shout out, planting a tree, sending a parcel to a solider, and so on.

Every child (and adult) just want to feel seen and heard. In our house, starting our day with gratitude and kindness shifts attention away from negative emotions and leads to positive actions. We use pictures and books a lot to spark meaningful conversations about emotions, empathy, kindness, and gratitude. One of our favorites is ‘Have You Filled A Bucket Today?’ By Carol McCloud. It is a great resource for classrooms and homes. Given that kids are naturally self-centered, it often means they aren’t always able to think about how someone else might be feeling.

It doesn’t mean they are unkind. For most children, empathy seems to come naturally. We just take advantage of their natural instincts and encourage kindness in their everyday lives. Everyone has a different way of feeling loved. This concept is something I like to keep at the forefront of my mind. My children are not me. They don’t feel and show love the same way I do, or my husband does. We often draw our love buckets on our fridge at eye level. It is a gentle reminder of what we can do for each other. If I feel our love buckets are empty, I will occasionally set up a sensory box with mini buckets, rainbow rice, and scoops to encourage kindness.

Every morning I like to ask my children two questions.

1. What can I do to fill your bucket today?

2. What can you do to fill someone’s bucket?

Each day I wake up and try to be the adult I want my child to be. Like kindness, I model gratitude daily. Children are wonderful imitators so be the change you want to see. I keep a gratitude journal where I express my thoughts intentionally and consistently. Your brain cannot focus on positive and negative thoughts at the same time. This is one thing that struck a chord with me in our Cancer Education Program. I try to notice new things to be grateful for and have found journaling makes a big difference in the way I perceive situations. I choose to focus on the positive and find joy in sharing that with others. Sometimes the most cherished gifts are the most difficult to see and we often don’t recognize how wonderful they are until they are gone.

The daily challenges, life stresses, and the mental load of motherhood often get in the way, and it is easy to lose perspective on what really matters. Do I still have bad days? Absolutely, but I find shifting my mindset life-changing. My dad always says that every day is a good day. I really struggled to see the good when Cade was unwell, and I was a new mom just trying to survive each day. It took a lot of practice to see the good. I woke every day with the fear that something would happen to Piper. Why not? It happened to Cade. My dad’s words still ring in my ear from time to time – ‘You can’t live in fear. If you do, you will end up the sick one. Your kids don’t want a perfect mum, they want a happy one.’ It is something I try to live by each day. Gratitude is simply cultivating a genuine appreciation for what we already have. Gratitude turns what we have into enough.

I want our children to seek out the extraordinary in the mundane. Miss 5 holds appreciation sessions every night during dinner. It doesn’t always have to be a big deal to spend quality time with your loved ones. We share the sunrise with them if it takes our breath away. I express my gratitude when someone makes my day. We notice when someone smiles at us and discuss how it made us feel. How we felt obligated to return the smile. I reward my children when they demonstrate empathy, kindness, or thankfulness. I can teach my children to be kind to yours in a world that isn’t always kind. If you think happiness makes you grateful, think again, I once read. Gratitude is what makes you joyful.

We will never be able to adequately express our thanks in words. Kindness and love are never squandered. They serve as a powerful reminder that goodness exists behind negativity and hatred, and that goodness has the ability to transform the world. One tiny deed performed at the proper time can completely transform someone’s day, outlook, and life. Kindness is a choice, and consider how different the world would be if everyone chose to be kind.

The most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, known sorrow, known battle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths, according to a card I once received from a lovely friend. These people have a sense of awe, sensitivity, and comprehension of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep love for others around them. Beautiful individuals appear out of nowhere. — Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

I love this me. I love the mother I am. I love the teacher I have become. I love the woman I have become because of the life experiences I have been exposed to. For that, I will be forever grateful.”

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‘I was 34 weeks pregnant.’ I was afraid he wouldn’t get to see our new baby.’ ‘Love and generosity are never wasted,’ said the family after their father survives illness.
В 2007 году в этой прекрасной семье родилась пятерня. Девочкам уже по 14 лет, как семья живёт сегодня?