Update: Waiting and Learning

by gary-foote on February 18, 2012

This past week has been a very trying up-and-down rollercoaster for my family and me. As we have ridden the tracks, our faith along with the support and prayers of so many family and friends has kept us from falling off the rails. As many of you know, my 2 year-old son was hospitalized this past Sunday. As we approach the one-week mark, many questions still remain.

My son has 50% of the normal red blood cells that a child his age should have. Somewhere between December 2, 2011 and February 12, 2012 his red blood cell count decreased from a normal level to 50% of what it should be. A team of 8 wonderful doctors have been working on his case, but they are still puzzled and have not been able to draw any real conclusions. So far all of the diagnostic tests have come back negative so we continue to wait to understand what the problem is and how to address it. His body took well to the emergency blood transfusion that he had so far so we were allowed to come home late Wednesday evening with the understanding that we would have to go back to the doctors on Friday. We went back yesterday (Friday) and were told that his tests are still coming back negative and more testing would need to be done. One doctor shared some words of wisdom that have helped my wife and I put things into perspective, “You are going to be running a marathon right now and not a sprint.” The biggest challenge for me in running this marathon with my son is the balance between living in the now, doing the best I can to prepare for the future, but not envisioning too far off in the future because I do not know what it holds. It’s easy to think about possible scenarios of what the outcome of all this may be and in those moments become very overwhelmed. I have to remind myself that God is much bigger than I am and that His way (all though it may be much different than mine) is the best way.

I ended my last blog with 3 things that were on my mind and I thought that I would let you know a little more about those:

1)   One of the things that God has been saying to me is to enjoy the moment. We all live busy lives with jobs and many other obligations. I find that sometimes I can allow all of the “have-to-dos” get in the way of being attentive to the more important things: God, my family, friends, and myself. I’ve been made eerily aware that the one thing that you can never get back is your time. How do you invest your time and make the most out of every minute?

2)   I continue to thank God for making Himself present to us in so many ways, especially the Sacraments. Without Him, I don’t know where I would be right now. I’ve also resolved to donate blood more intentionally whenever I can. I use to donate with the attitude of, “Sure, why not? Maybe this will help someone.” But, now after having my son’s life saved through a blood transfusion, I will never approach donating so haphazardly again. I’d encourage anyone reading this to take advantage of giving someone else the opportunity to live by donating your blood anytime the opportunity arises.

3)   Most people have heard the saying, “Patience is a virtue.” Well, like most virtues, it is only useful when you actually exercise it. I really don’t want to exercise patience right now, but I don’t have a choice of whether or not to be patient. However, I do have the choice to either lovingly embrace this time or become disgruntled and agitated and miss out on all the great opportunities in front of me. I choose love.


Please continue the prayers and feel free to reach out to me anytime. I love hearing from others. I’m looking forward to having another story to share in Catholic youth speaking and Catholic youth retreat leading that will glorify God. I don’t know exactly how all of this will work out, but I am confident that God works everything for the good if we will let Him.

In Christ,

Gary Foote


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