I think we've likely discussed this before, but, if you'll indulge me, I've had some thoughts lately:
I have two siblings with Cystic Fibrosis. My sister is 23, and my brother will be turning 16 this week. For my brother's birthday he will be attending a luau. In Hawaii. See... about a year ago he applied to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. His wish was to go to Hawaii. His wish was granted.
In addition to my brother, my parents and all of my siblings who still lived at home when the application was made (4, excluding by brother) were flown to Hawaii over the weekend. So... 7 people. They'll be getting a full week, all expenses paid. They appear from the pictures to be staying in a penthouse suite of the Sheraton Waikiki. They will have snorkeling and surfing excursions, and tours of all sorts of cool cultural stuff (Pearl Harbor is closed because of the shutdown, of course...). All their meals are paid for. They even got spending cash.
It's a funny thing, seeing such generosity (indeed, I'd consider myself an indirect recipient). Truly humbling. I am a blessed person. We are all blessed people. Even my siblings with CF. It's easy, of course, for me to talk on their behalf. I'm not the one who has to deal with disease every day. But it reminds me of a speech my sister (a different one) gave:
I also have a nephew who was born with hypoplastic-left heart syndrome. In short, he only has half a heart. As you'd imagine, this causes all sorts of problems, and he has many, many other complications. When he was born, there was a large community fundraiser to help cover all the medical bills. At that event, my sister got up to thank everyone for their generosity. She said something to the effect of "I want to thank everyone for all their support. We are truly blessed. And I mean that. When people find out about our son's condition, they tells us all the time 'I'm so sorry.' Well, I'm not. Because my son is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me."
I can still hear her saying it. I've got tears in my eyes as I type this. I'm not entirely sure why I'm putting this post up. Maybe if the priest hadn't touched on our need to be humble in yesterday's homily, none of this would have struck me. But I forget, far too often, that nothing I have is my own. I have been given health, and family, and friends, and intellect, and humor, and a sister (another one) who's a dentist to fix my teeth, and everything else. I am blessed.
Seeing pictures of my family's trip to Hawaii, my heart is filled. Being the recipient of generosity is humbling, and it makes me want to be a better person. I want to be more generous. I am blessed.