What Are You Thankful For? – Thanksgiving 2013
Friends of Zachary,
I find these days the term “Thankful” is a overused or somewhat meaningless phrase that is said too often without really reflecting on its’ true meaning. This phrase seems to resurrect more often during the Thanksgiving Holiday with little interpretation or true awareness for it’s use. I wonder how many of us truly step back and give thanks for the joys in our lives, the ailments we have overcome or the smallest successes that warrant the biggest recognition. In my journey, I have come across some of the most amazing and heroic individuals that spend their lives trying to make the world a better place. They don’t do it for the recognition, money or accolades but simply trying to make a difference in the world for others.
In my earlier post, I honored my wife Deena and my son Matthew as the “Unsung Heroes”, as true as this may be, there are many more heroic individuals that need recognition. From the entire Lynbrook School System, to Zachary’s Medical Team, to all our Friends who have not judged or paid us sympathy for our challenges but are simply by our side in good times and bad and finally my family…(parents, in-laws, cousins, aunts, uncle, sister, sister-in-laws and brother-in-laws). These individuals listed have earned my personal thanks for their continued commitment and contribution to Zachary and my family.
Many would say…my family has been cursed with a horrific situation; I say, I have been blessed…
I have learned to enjoy my family now more then ever, not ignoring a single minute of quality time. This tragedy has given me insight to understanding what my true capabilities are as a father & husband and what actions we took to bring our family closer together. I have seen brothers cement an inseparable bond that will live on forever.
I have seen the advancement of DIPG research move faster and further knowing my family has been involved to help shape the way medical professionals communicate and look for a faster way for a cure. More importantly, I’ve seen…
* Hugs last longer
* Hugs are stronger
* Laughter is louder
* Meals are longer
* Walking further
* Gripping Harder
* Studying Smarter
* Roughhousing Harder
* Taking time to listen more and react to less. (Thank you Zoloft)
Most importantly…I’ve seen an 11 year old boy…despite his illness, rise above his obstacles. He is an overachiever in school, works incredibly hard in his therapy and tries to find laughter any chance he can.
Through Zachary’s illness, I am a better person each and every day. I still do things to piss my wife off…nobody’s perfect.
As Thanksgiving approaches…I hope I’ve inspired you to hug your children a few minutes longer, listen to the laughter deeper and enjoy your family as much as I am. I took my family for granted for years. Not Anymore.
On behalf of the entire Bernstein Family, We wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Our Sincerest Appreciation,
Deena, David, Matthew, Zachary and Molly
“It Takes A Village”