Six years ago today, he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. According to his mom, Jennifer, he has had more than 26,000 finger pokes, over 4,000 shots, almost 800 site changes, and 2 hypoglycemic seizures.
Yet through it all, he keeps smiling.
And so does Mom.
In fact, it's his little smile that solicited this reflection to begin with.
Jennifer asked our online Catholic Mom group, Theotokos, for prayers. However, she wasn't asking them for her son. Instead, she was asking them for the EMT (and his nurse-wife) who saved little Phil's life that day.
Phil's doctor had brushed off concerns voiced by Jennifer and her husband that he might have diabetes. In fact, without testing him, he suggested that Phil be force-fed juices to keep him hydrated. As a result, they were unable to wake Phil the next morning. Urgent care could not help them, so an ambulance was called to take them to the Emergency Room. A very wise EMT recognized diabetes and immediately inserted a central line inside the ambulance (something he could have lost his job for, I'm told). He then called his wife, a nurse who worked at the ER they were taking Phil to, and asked her to be ready at the door for them.
The central line saved his life. Otherwise, his sugar-rich blood would have been too thick to pump through his heart.
So Jennifer asked for prayers for the EMT and his wife, because she recognized they were vital in saving the life of her baby boy that day.
I was so struck by this prayer request, especially because Jennifer seemed as if she felt silly for posting it. Actually, the exact wording was "strange." However, I responded that it wasn't strange at all. In fact, she was the perfect example of how we SHOULD offer prayers not only of supplication, bu of thanksgiving.
I was reminded of the story of the Cleansing of the Ten Lepers (Luke 17:11-19). Jesus heals 10 lepers, and all 10 run off to the temple priests to be welcomed back into the community. However, only one leper returns to give thanks to Jesus who healed him.
One in ten.
How often are we like the lepers who enjoy the blessings God grants, forgetting to give thanks for those blessings?
I dunno about you folks, but I'm one of the 9 way more often than I am offering thanks like the one who returned.
So for Lent, I think one of my reflections will be on this particular reading. I've been trying to figure out what would help me on my Lenten journey, and Jennifer's intention was like a beacon of light.
Please keep Phil, his family, and his two special angels in your prayers. Keep also in your prayers those blessings you're most thankful for, not only today, but all of your days. <3