Because You Can!

Today, my sister would be 34 years-old, but she only made it to 27. I’m telling you about this because I would love for today to become a day that makes you think about how grateful you are that you are here, and take a different look and appreciation for what your body does for you.  Your body is doing its job (even if some aspects of it are not quite living up to your desires for it). Take a few minutes to notice how you breathe regardless of whether or not you think about it…but if you do think about it, notice how you can get more benefit out of your breaths. You can feel better, oxygenate your blood better, and be present for a moment or two.

In 2003, my sister had a baby, and then through a chain of events and emergencies, fetal debris from the birth entered her circulation and traveled to her heart and lungs and she died of cardiac arrest. Her body (and the doctors and nurses) tried very hard to fight and overcome the emergencies that occurred. She was at least partially conscious for 3 of 6 hours of this process of urgency and trying to save her life.

I’ve often wondered what she was really thinking during this time, and at first she was most likely worried about the baby and keeping her husband calm (she was generally in charge….of everything). I don’t know if there was a time when she realized she wouldn’t make it through. But at 3:15 that morning, when her body stopped fighting, she didn’t have the choice to be aware anymore.

I’m not trying to be sad right now, or make anyone think about death—I want to do the opposite. Reflect on your own body, and how the miracle of it continues day after day, regardless of the day-to-day stress that is put on it. Instead of criticizing yourself and what your body looks like, do something healthy for yourself and thank your body for everything it does for you! See how a change in perspective could actually help you feel better and become healthier?

10 thoughts on “Because You Can!”

  1. Happy Birthday, Jen. And thanks for this, Lisa. I'll be thinking about all of this, (and you, her, Matthew, family, friends, etc!) all day. I'll be thankful for what I have, and conscious of my health and happiness.

  2. Hey Lisa, SUCH a touching post. Too often people forget that good health is a blessing, It made me think about all of the things I am fortunate for. Thank you for writing this!

  3. Thanks Nora! I agree—we are often on autopilot as we go through our days, and it's not that we don't appreciate our blessings, but we can always use a reminder once in a while to think about being thankful for our health.

  4. Jen's birth-day 34 years ago was such a happy one … I know she would love that you remembered her by reminding everyone to be good to themselves. What a perfect tribute to her, Lis.

  5. Lisa,

    As an only child I would have given anything to have a sister just like you! While I did not know Jen, please know she silently motivates me to continue on our quest for answers. While I am the rarest of the rare in regards to surviving; I take this blessing at a second chance at life very seriously. I owe it to you, Jen and the countless others who have gone before and after to see this foundation through. We will make medical history and get the answers we all deserve as well as prevent this horrible event from happening more. Thank you for reminding us to not let the business of life take away from the beauty of life itself. The human body is an amazing wonder and yet such a frustration when the smallest of cells can cause such devastating harm.

    Thanks for sharing and I pray for continued healing for you and all of those who loved and adored Jen.

    Miranda Klassen

  6. Hi Miranda,
    Thank you for commenting. I'm sure you know how comforting it is to connect with people who have experienced this crazy unexpected event. Changing perspective (for me) from one of pure loss to acknowledging and being grateful for everything I have and had has been important. I look forward to being involved with your organization–just imagine the possibility of prevention in the future!!!

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