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Thursday, November 26, 2009
  The Joy of Giving Thanks
By Eucharia Mbachu

My first thanks goes to God and to all of you brothers and sisters of good will.
This Thanksgiving is a prologue and testament for the good work the Lord has done in my life.
About a year ago my life was hanging on a balance because of a food poisoning. I have been a staunch supporter and advocate for healthy eating. So every year during summer, I would go out to pick berries and mushrooms from the wild. But unfortunately, last year, I picked the wrong mushroom. I ate this angel of death as the doctors called it and I was at the point of loosing my life. According to the doctors I had only about 25 percentage of survival. I was airlifted from Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring Maryland to Maryland University Teaching Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland for an immediate liver transplant.
They put all kinds of medical stuff over my body and subjected me under very intensive monitoring every 20 minutes during that ordeal. As my liver enzymes went from the normal level of 35 to 1000, all hope of survival started to slip away from my family and friends. Worst was the fact that my arteries stubbornly refused to be steady by junketing from one place to another. Heaven knows how much pain I had to go through, especially when those big eyed needles were inserted into my body for a medic port and would be chasing the arties from one corner of my body to another.

At one point, the doctors and the medical technicians felt the pain was becoming very unbearable so they decided to allow me to rest for about an hour. It was within this period that the miracle happened. Meanwhile the latest lab result was out, it was found that the enzymes were hovering. Immediately, the doctors rushed to my room to tell me that I was neither getting any better nor worst. However, few minutes later, they enzymes went down to 998. It was great news to the medical team and my family.

While this was going on, I decided to do a check and balance of my life on earth. I came to a point where I felt I tried to do my best but was afraid that my best might not be good enough for God. It was under this fear of life and death that I suddenly awakened to the weakness of my humanity. Even when I took the last rite from the priest and I was asked if I was afraid of dying, I said emphatically NO, but quickly added my fear of standing before the judgment seat of God.
As it turned out, God really had no time to judge me at that time. I survived the ordeal, and that miraculous return to the world of the living has changed my life for ever. Yes, forever giving thanks to God for the rest of my life.
I was in the hospital for three weeks, at that time my hospital room became a Guinea pig of a sort. This is to say, students and doctors confessed they only read about my situation in medical books. They even went as far as going to the place where I picked the wild mushrooms, but could not find any. Of course I went back after I was discharged from the hospital to get some for them.
I just want to share my story because I survived not because of my strength, but because of the grace of God given to me. Secondly, I have been an ardent runner; I practice yoga and Pilates which gave my internal organs the strength with which they withstood the pressure from the poison.

To me therefore, this Thanksgiving means a lot, not just for my health but also for my family and friends who stood by me during the time of my weakness.
With my new life that is growing like a little child out of the womb, I see the Hand of God through patience, perseverance and persistence from a linguistic trinity of meaning to give me succor and sustenance. Even though presently, all of America and the world are struggling against a very bad economy, my thoughts and feelings are shepherded by the belief that we are being touched by the all-powerful embrace of the Creator. Those who are sick are sheltered in hospitals or in friendly hands elsewhere; those who are hungry are being fed by the loving and caring hands of the shelters run by the houses for the homeless. Again, I should say, this Thanksgiving gives the opportunity to bring to the attention of family, friends and strangers the wonderful feelings that rest in the bosom of my heart and travel speedily in the confinement of my mind.

Thanksgiving to me is a moment that matters and it needs to be affirmed all the time. Some have argued that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt took the matter to a greater height when he asked the nation to immortalize the annual celebration, I concur with this thought; but in elaboration, I should say life has been wonderful and sour not only to Americans but also to countless millions who live else where in the world.

My last words are linked to the three qualities of patience, perseverance and persistence. Through patience this attribute of the Lord helps and protects me in the stormiest days of my life and in the community of living I share with my family. Perseverance tells me how relationships mirror this Divine quality because the Creator is not struck by the failures of his human creation. Rather, through his mercy and compassion we all are able to live here and do well in our lives. The persistence I exhibit in the manner I conduct my life urges me to thank the Good Lord. Through this sense of understanding and defining myself I have come to the conclusion that life without persistence is meaningless. Being human is to be consciously persistent in serving God and in loving and caring for others. Thanksgiving to me then means giving thanks first to God and appreciating his wonderful works to the sons and daughters of men.

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