We’re so thankful.

The past month has had its trials. Days and weeks have gone by without realising how much time is passing. Among this though, we have lots to be thankful for.

We’re thankful for fore-warning and fore-thought – that we knew a funeral was pending, and that we had planned what we would do when the inevitable phone call came.

We’re thankful for a heightened sense of focus to get prepared quickly meaning preparations were complete with a day to spare.

We’re thankful for colleagues and managers who know there are just some things you have to take time off for, and how they supported and respected my need to be absent.

We’re thankful for family willing to jump in and help us get on the road, and to care for the house and cat left behind.

We’re thankful for children who notice something odd going on with their brother, that they know to speak up to ask what’s happening, thereby ensuring we are alerted to a medical emergency playing out in the back seat.

We’re thankful for 111 operators helping locate us, getting help to us quickly, and staying on the line until paramedics were by Liam’s side.

We’re thankful for a dozen or so strangers who stopped to come to our aid, showering us with love, help, blankets, towels, kind words, and refusing to leave with their own children until Liam was assessed by paramedics.

We’re thankful for the amazing people who work for St John every day.  We truly appreciate you all!

We’re thankful for the amazing people who work at the CDHB, particularly those working tirelessly in ED and Children’s Emergency.

We’re thankful for the social workers, the supporters of and workers at Ronald McDonald House, all who ensured Alec, Nathan and I had somewhere to sleep, something to eat, and could be nearby Liam and Fei Hsia while we were still trying to understand what was happening.

We’re thankful for medication to ease our concerns of continuing our travel, pharmacists willing to sell their pharmacy stock when public stock is unavailable and we don’t have a script for Ibuprofen and there’s a product shortage, and the Medical team reassurances that we were safe to continue our journey north just as much as if we were to journey back south to our home.

We’re thankful for ferry operators helping switch our ferry crossing to be the return trip as their next ferry would mean we would miss the funeral, but also to ensure if we found a way over that day, we would still have a way back!

We’re thankful for the person that cancelled their sailing to Wellington around the time we checked for an open sailing as we got on the road to “take our chances” of an opening coming up.  We hope you cancelled for good reasons.

We’re thankful for in-car DVDs to keep kids entertained and energy drinks, music, podcasts, and chocolate to get us through a non-stop 18 hour land-based journey taking us the final 850km up the country.

We’re thankful for the one hour sleep and showers we got before we were back in the car to join the final farewell of Fei Hsia’s Gran.

We’re thankful for the time with family, the friends we got to also visit, but most of all the celebration of 96 years well lived that our kids will remember sharing with much of Fei Hsia’s family which they (and I) had never met.

Through all this thankfulness, we’re most of all thankful to have been on a significant journey of personal growth over the past three years.  The mentorship and coaching we’ve received to think differently; to look at adversity as an opportunity; to have a PMA  especially when everything seems to be going wrong; to press forward when others would quit and go home; and to look at what really matters to us with a “how can we” attitude especially when adversity hits; has significantly contributed to the positive outcomes we’ve been achieving, even in situations totally out of our control.