Mystery Solved!

Marcia Nelson solved our mystery about the Andersons of Downers Grove, Illinois. — “I can tell you that the person who submitted from Downers Grove, IL is my dear friend Andrea Anderson (AA). Her husband Ted (TA) is her amanuensis because she has macular degeneration and can’t see well.”

So here it is again, with proper author attribution:

GRATITUDE

By Andrea Anderson (with Ted Anderson)

Gratitude is an attitude of being thankful for many and all things that happen in one’s life. These days I say “Thank you” for a lot of help for things I can no longer do because of macular degeneration of my eyesight. However, it took me a long time (around 55 years) for me to say thank you to a little child and an event that happened in 1963.

I was near the end of a pregnancy (3 weeks to go according to medical estimates) when the bag of waters broke. The doctor said I must go to the hospital for delivery. I said that I was not ready to deliver as there were no contractions; however I went to the hospital and the doctor made the delivery happen. The baby was beautiful but was not breathing properly. His lungs were not fully developed.

The next day the baby died. We were very sad. It took us many months of family activities and family support to overcome this loss.

As life moved on, I found myself pregnant with our fourth child. Again, near the end of the pregnancy the bag of waters broke and there were no contractions. I telephoned the doctor who told me the same thing to go to the hospital. I told him I was NOT going to the hospital because there were not contractions. The doctor was surprised at my refusal and convinced me to go to the outpatient section of the hospital where he examined me. “Yes,” he said, “You are not ready for delivery”. He told me not to be on my feet and to take a mild antibiotic to avoid infection.

My mother-in-law came to the rescue! Our children were very happy to have Nana stay with us for a long visit. About 12 days later contractions began and our daughter Liisa was born strong and healthy. We were all overjoyed.

Because of what I experienced and learned from the pregnancy in 1963, and the same type of circumstances were present, I knew what to do and was not afraid to counter the medical way. Daughter Liisa has been and is today a joy to all who know her and is a blessed addition to our family.

Shortly after her birth I realized how grateful I was for the lesson and experience of that former pregnancy. But it took until a few years ago for me to say, “Thank you” to that little child. Upon reading (via Talking Books) The Book of Joy by Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, and upon reflection and the explanation of perception that I began to understand the concept of perception. It is not only what happens to one in the present moment, but also past events and how that shapes one’s life. All of these ideas help to pull together the value of life’s experiences.

This made me realize that I needed to say “Thank you” to that beautiful baby who did not survive. Spiritually I have said ‘thank you’ many times now for giving me that important lesson.

Gratitude comes in many ways and at different times. I feel it is a vital part of our life and being. It contributes to the joy of living. This is one of my favorite scriptures from the Bible, because it is short and meaningful.

Thessalonians 5:16

Rejoice always,

Pray unceasingly,

Be thankful in all circumstances.