In everything give thanks

I almost hesitate to post anything today because I’m feeling rather cranky! My surgery went well last Wednesday so what do I have to complain about? Just the fact that my head feels like it’s been used as a soccer ball and a sore throat/earache kept me awake most of the night.

Feeling the way I do this morning, it would be easy to give in to whining and feeling sorry for myself but this is one of those days when I need to remind myself that scripture says


The little word in  at the beginning of that verse is the reason that I can give thanks today. If it asked me to give thanks for everything, I’m quite certain I couldn’t do it. I certainly couldn’t give thanks for cancer and though I recognize how fortunate I am to live where universal and excellent health care is available, I’m not thankful that I had to have surgery at all, but even in  these circumstances, there is much to be thankful for.

I’m thankful for my hubby who patiently puts up with my restlessness at night and crankiness by day! In some ways, the surgery was harder on him than it was on me. I was out cold, totally unaware of what was going on, but as the hours ticked by, he was the one who was waiting for the surgeon’s call to tell him that things had gone well. I’m thankful for a surgeon who worked patiently and carefully for seven hours straight to remove all the cancer yet leave my facial nerves intact. Thanks to his meticulous effort, my left eye is fully functional and I’m left with nothing more than a crooked smile which will likely improve significantly once the massive swelling subsides and healing takes place. I’m also thankful for the wonderful friends and neighbours who have been showering us with meals; pots of homemade soup, fresh buns and other soft foods that I can handle. We are so blessed!

But do you know what else I’m thankful for today? I’m thankful for the guys who invented the drinking straw!  After seven hours with a breathing tube down my throat, it is SORE and it seems to be taking a long time to heal! Drinking lots of fluids helps but that’s hard to do when your bottom lip doesn’t work right!

Apparently, the first drinking straws were used more than 5000 years ago! The oldest one in existence, a gold tube inlaid with precious blue lapis lazuli, was found by archeologists exploring an ancient Sumerian tomb that was dated 3,000 B.C. On the other side of the globe, Argentinian natives long used similar wooden or metal devices, known as bombillas, to strain and drink their tea. Our humble paper and plastic straws had their beginnings in the U.S. In the 1880s, using rye grass as straws had become popular but their tendency to become mushy when wet and the grassy flavour that they added to beverages, made them somewhat unsatisfactory. It was Marvin C. Stone who came up with the idea of making one from paper. He started by winding paper around a pencil to make a thin tube, then slid the pencil out and applied glue to hold it together. He later built a machine that would coat the outside of the paper with wax. He patented his invention on January 3rd, 1888. In 1937, Joseph Friedman, created the first bendable straw, the type I’m using today.

Come to think of it, I’m even thankful for silly history lessons like this one that provide distraction from my present discomfort and crankiness!

What are you thankful for today?


10 thoughts on “In everything give thanks

  1. I wonder if I can find a Wonder Woman Straw? You are amazing my friend, the grace you show each and every day is an encouragement to me… In all things be thankful

  2. Those same lovely, bendable straws allow our niece, Chloe, to drink. Cerebral Palsy has made many of the things that most of us accomplish easily, a bit more difficult for her. So, I too, will be thankful for the humble straw. 🙂 A former boss of mine told me to always think a week ahead when faced with something scary or uncomfortable. He was usually right (except for quitting smoking-that was a LOT longer than a week!). So I hope that in another week Elaine, you will feel so much better and getting a good rest for your recovery.

    • When I think of Chloe and her beautiful smile, I’m reminded how lucky I am that my present situation is temporary and that I will, indeed, be feeling much better a week from now! Thank you!

  3. I think you have a right to feel cranky and crabby. If nothing else, blame it on the anesthesia . I am thankful that you came out of surgery alive and that they got it all. I am also thankful for a sunny day and the ability to once again work in my garden which was badly neglected last year.

    • Yes, I suspect that the anesthesia and all the pain killers I’ve taken since have a lot to do with how I’m feeling. I’m so glad you’re able to enjoy your garden this year!

  4. I am reading this post with my husband and we are both glad that the surgery went well. We too have a lot to be thankful about.. too many that sometimes I feel that I just don’t deserve some of them. Take care Elaine, drink that water as it helps the sore and keep the spirit! Hugs from us across the world – Ida and Roberto

    • I know I’m much too impatient and want to feel better instantly but I will keep on sipping on my straws and being thankful for long distance hugs! 🙂

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