Appreciation for something we adore will often overwhelm us when we either no longer have it, or are threatened with losing it. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could travel to the future and find out what we should appreciate the most? This adventure would illuminate what we’ll miss the most. We could gather knowledge and understanding about those people, events, and things that we had once, but lost. Then, we could return to our present day and understand what it means to have those wonderful things again, so to speak.

Truth be told, this scenario isn’t so far out of reach. Sometimes I imagine what it will be like when my young children are grown and off to college, married, or submerged into a profession. I place my heart into the future as I miss them and the ‘younger days’. Then, I’m able to look at them today as if to say, thank you for these special moments and thank you for today. I’m thankful for the trivial happenings of holding hands, bike rides, cereal at the breakfast table, and telling my children no in line at the market. As I look forward to future events, with all their emotional ties of the ‘empty nest syndrome’, I realize that they are in all actuality positively satisfying. I think of how good days today will lead to good days to come. Then, a question comes to my mind. What if the days to come aren’t so good?

I was inspired this morning by a story of a family who broke the news to their nine-year-old daughter that she has cancer. I found myself weeping for this girl and for her family as the unimaginable dared to change them forever. I found myself thinking of what it would be like to enlighten my eight or ten year old about a sickness that threatened their young life. How would they respond? How would our daily family schedule change? How would our priorities change? What would be our passions in life then? What would matter most? Then immediately, I realized how blessed we are to have happy, healthy children and happy, healthy lives.

Isn’t it amazing how we are able to get a second chance at things without first going through the trial or enduring the loss? I’m thankful for my family. I’m thankful for the wonderful childhood that I am able to help shape and mold for my children’s future memories. I’m thankful that one day I can look back and know that I helped them laugh ever day, I hugged them every day, and I nourished their relationships with each other and others around them the best way I knew how. Most of all, I’m thankful for today and for the opportunity to realize and appreciate what I adore the most.