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Thursday, 30 January 2014

Reasons to be Thankful

We had nits over Christmas. I'm not sure which of us was on the naughty list, but whoever it was they must have been really naughty for Father Christmas to send us all such an irritating present. It was our first case. Each time the letters came home from nursery and now school, I would check diligently to be met with a louse free comb. I was becoming smug; eleven years and not a single egg. Either my children were anti-social enough to avoid rubbing heads with other children or they had 666 tattooed on their scalps. I didn't care which so long as I continued to dodge the issue. Imagine my disappointment when my investigations into our incessant scratching disclosed my worst fears - the girls weren't the Devil's spawn, but normal kids susceptible to childhood complaints after all. Bugger!

I manned the barricades, deployed my nit battling armoury and commenced slathering, spraying and combing for most of the day until the girls begged to be scalped rather than endure another hour spent locked in the bathroom with me and a metal nit comb.

When finally I was satisfied and released the girls from the bathroom of pain and suffering, Chicken announced, "That was the worst day of my life!"
Although I wouldn't have ranked it in my top ten best days either, I couldn't help be thankful that that was as bad as it got for my kids, and for that matter - me.

I was emailed recently by a woman named Heather who is an eight year survivor of a rare cancer called mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos. She had recently given birth to her baby daughter when she was diagnosed and given 15 months to live. 15 months. I truly can't imagine how I would react to such devastating news. I think I can safely predict anger would feature, along with hatred, guilt and a need to lash out for someone or something to blame. What's apparent is that each emotion is deeply rooted in negativity and would achieve nothing but bitterness, pain and regret. But that's me and my possible reaction. How Heather conquered the ugly and brutal truth to emerge the victor with strength and a will to inspire is overwhelming.

She asked me to help spread her story in an effort to highlight yet another senseless form of cancer, but I prefer to tell her story as a celebration of hope and determination, to inspire courage in all who find themselves in seemingly hopeless situations. Hopelessness can only exist if allowed to. Heather is not alone in being a shining example of overcoming the odds with hope, dignity and a near super human strength. May all their stories be told.

It certainly puts my nits into perspective.


  1. Please stop calling me chicken. Thank you very much.����������������