Thursday, November 26, 2015

Make Every Day Thanksgiving

First off Happy Thanksgiving!  We all have so much to be thankful for and today is a day where we're supposed to reflect on that.  Whether you're spending the day with family, friends, or alone today is a blessing.  But every day is truly a blessing and something we should focus on daily rather than just one day out of the year.

This past year has been a very difficult one for my wife and I.  A year ago in August my wife and I were very excited since we were expecting our first child, our son Luke.  Just a few days later our world was turned upside down when we found out that his diaphragm hadn't formed correctly, a condition called congenital diaphragmatic hernia and the prognosis was a coin flip at best.  On November 21, 2014 we welcomed him to this world.  Unfortunately after 8.5 months his heart just couldn't fight any more and he passed away in August.

This past weekend should have been when we were celebrating his 1st birthday and while we still had a party for him he was noticeably absent.  This past year was full of an absolute roller coaster of emotions, sometimes within just a few minutes we would swing from one end to another.  It's been very hard to carry on without Luke being around but I'm so thankful that we had him for at least 8.5 months.  We recently got the autopsy report back and sat down with the doctors to discuss the findings and his case.

Unfortunately given how severe his CDH was it was likely inevitable that he wouldn't make it over the long run.  However, I have no doubt that the reason he did was because of the love that my wife and I gave him.  I feel that he was fighting to be with us just as much as we were fighting on his behalf.  My wife was with him at the hospital for about 14 hours per day for the entire time and while I had to go back to work at times I was there with him every minute that I possibly could.  It's devastating to have to lose your child and there's always the thought of "what would he be like" which is one of the hardest parts about losing him.

Despite the difficulties of this past year there's still so much to be thankful for.  In his 8.5 months here Luke taught me so much about my own life and he brought my wife and I closer together.  I have a loving and supportive wife and family.  They are what make my life truly wonderful.  I have relatively good but improving health.  Each and every day I move closer to having freedom to do what I please without having to worry about financial aspects.  Given the precipitous decline in the price of oil I'm very thankful to still have a job in the oil field when many of the people that I know have been laid off.  And of course being a part of this dividend growth investing and financial independence blogging community and being able to interact with all of you is a blessing as well.

One thing I've started doing is to take time at the end of each day before I go to sleep and reflect on the day and find at least one good thing that happened that I'm thankful for.  There's blessings all around us even though sometimes you really have to look for them.  Every day that you wake up is a day that's starting off right.

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Happy Thanksgiving JC. It has certainly been a crazy year for your guys. Watching your journey reminds me how precious each day is...... I'm glad Luke's struggle brought you and your wife closer together. The death of a child often has the opposite effect. Wishing you guys all the best. Take care bud

  2. What a loss it must have been and still is. I have three wonderful kids and couldn't imagine losing one. You have all the sympathy I could possibly give. You are right, every day is a blessing. Thank you for being so open to us and sharing that. I will surely hug my wife and kids real hard tonight.

    Take care


  3. It is heart breaking to hear your experience and I wish you and your wife the best in finding the strength. I can only imagine what you guys went through. Luke will continue to live-on in your memory and Im glad to hear that its brought you and your wife closer. Hope you guys are having a good Thanksgiving.


  4. My heart aches for you. A good friend of mine had a premie baby who almost didn't make it. It is heart wrenching to discover how much grief a human heart can hold for an infant child.

    You are very strong to find a way to still be thankful. That inspires me. Thank you, sir.

  5. Well put message of thanks and how appreciative each of us must be for every single day we open our eyes. No doubt the short time you spent with your son has impacted you and your family in a huge way and from what I can tell/read, all for the better.

  6. Thank you for the post JC. Thank you for opening up on with this post and having to share with us. Wow, that's tough what both of you went through. All I can say is I have a lot of respect for both of you. Like you, my family and kids keep me going. It's why we strive for Financial Independence.
    I hope you 2 continue to find strength and move forward to new chapter and begin anew.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  7. Just clicked over to your site after seeing you've been linking my posts and followed over to this post. This is really powerful. My sympathy on the loss of your son. You're courage to share is an absolute inspiration. Best of luck to you as you continue on your journey to financial independence and wherever else life takes you.


  8. I'm so terribly sorry to hear what you've been through. It's an incredible attitude and perspective you're sharing from such a difficult experience. Thanks for sharing your message, and all the best for each new day that you're blessed to receive.