Monday, 18 December 2017


B is for Blessings

Growing up, when I was grumbling about being born with my craniofacial syndrome, my mother would always say to me, 'We count our blessings.' My response, made under my breath, would be, 'What blessings?'

Last week my story was on My Interview. A journalist interviewed me and my daughter Melissa, about living with Crouzon syndrome. This was in response to the movie Wonder, where the main character Auggie, was born with Treacher Collins syndrome, another craniofacial syndrome. After the interview I was chatting with Mum about a few of my childhood memories and again she said, 'We count our blessings.' 

Mum has never wavered from looking at the positive side of having a daughter and grandchildren with a craniofacial syndrome. Though she has admitted I have been through way more than she and Dad did, which is true, but they had way more prejudice in society to push against.

Since going on sick leave from work in 2013 and then resigning in 2014 due to burnout and severe anxiety and depression, life in the Woolsey household has continued to throw curveballs. I have spent many hours with my psychologist recovering, my daughter has struggled with her own severe anxiety and depression, my husband has bent his tailbone, broken his ribs, his wrist and his finger, endured kidney stones and is currently suffering post-surgery pain which is still being investigated. Plus all the usual hospital appointments, and dealing with coelic disease and Jessica's nuances, and financial difficulties... I have changed from being the breadwinner and mother, to the carer of my entire family, and doing the majority of jobs. This is something I am not used to and I have found difficult to adjust to. My husband is currently unable to drive, and me not being able to drive due to my visual impairment, has thrown up more challenges. 

The last couple days I've been quietly having my own pity party, but today I am determined to change my attitude, and count my blessings. :)  

So in this blog I am going to count ten of my blessings: 

1) I have a family who loves me.
2) I have friends who support me.
3) I have a dog I can cuddle and talk to.
4) I have a roof over my head, food in my belly and clothes to wear.
5) I have teenage children who can help me when I ask them.
6) My youngest, with Down syndrome, can play independently so does not need my undivided attention all day.
7) My eldest has her Learners and can drive my husband to the shops, which saves me from having to walk to the shops.
8) My church family delivered a surprise hamper last week when I was really down, which was so appreciated.
9) I am healthy.
10) Jesus is my Lord and Saviour, and He gives me hope. I know I am being watched over and everything will turn out okay sometime.

In a week's time it will be Christmas and we will be celebrating the birth of Jesus. It will just be the five us of us this year - no extended family. And even though life at the moment is not how I'd like it to be, I know it could be worse.

If life is getting you down, I ask you, 'What are your blessings?'

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