I’ve been thinking about the miraculous capabilities of the human body. We take for granted the blood coursing through our veins, the ability to breathe, to stand, to walk, to bend, to stoop, to cry, to smell, to touch, and even the ability to procreate. How is it possible to experience the miracle of the human body and not see the hand of God in creating it? There are thousands of intricate muscles, organs, and tissues in the body that work seamlessly together to give us life.
My dad you used say, “You need the bad days so you can appreciate the good days.” In other words, “it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things” (2 Nephi 2:11). The body is so intricate and delicate that sometimes things go wrong, and when they do, it gives us a chance to reflect on the times when it works flawlessly. As a child, when I would get the flu, Dad would say, “Think how much worse you’d feel if you were an elephant.” If I had a sore throat, “Think how much worse you’d feel if you were a giraffe.” Perspective is helpful—even coming from Dad when I felt like I’d been run over by a dump truck.
The aging process, while challenging, gives us a great deal of perspective. It lets us reflect on the years of an energetic body that worked at maximum capacity. It’s been said that getting old isn’t for sissies, and my husband and I are learning the hard way the truth of that statement. However, we are also finding that there is greater appreciation for Heavenly Father’s miracles. It is now our time to reflect on wonders, miracles, and heavenly things.
My husband has scar tissue in his fingers from an unfortunate accident with a rolling storage unit door, so his fingers are no longer flexible enough to use to insert his contact lenses into his eyes. That’s a problem, since he has a rare eye disease that requires the use of contact lenses. I do a pretty decent job of inserting his lenses—until my arthritis kicks up on cold mornings. We now both have great appreciation for the knuckle and finger movement we’ve had all our lives.
This week, the smoke alarm that is connected to our burglar alarm system began a repetitive (and obnoxious) audio message on the key pad box: “Smoke alarm hamper open or smoke detected.” That is the message we receive when the batteries need changing. (Don’t ask me why it doesn’t just say to change the batteries!) After purchasing the very expensive batteries for the smoke alarm, I climbed the ladder and replaced the batteries. The audio message continued. I climbed the ladder multiple times to make sure the batteries were properly installed, but the message would not clear. I called tech support, which meant multiple trips up and down the ladder because the smoke alarm is not even in the same room with the burglar alarm key pad. The metal plate and six screws in my right ankle were screaming at me, but I tried my best to avoid the expense of a service call. In the end, a service call was necessary, and my ankle is still screaming at me.
My husband and I have the choice to get depressed about the lack of agility and strength, or to appreciate the days when we get out of bed and feel like going for a walk. We choose to remember that each little ache and pain is giving us more gratitude for the good days. It is the natural process of preparing us to cross the veil to be with Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and loved ones. Sometimes we get discouraged and grumble a bit, but overall, we manage to stay positive and grateful for the good times. It takes perspective. It takes faith. It takes perseverance.
It’s easier to accept the fate of our own deteriorating bodies when we see miracles happening around us. On February 1st, our 13th grandchild was born. We haven’t met her in person yet, but we’ve seen pictures. As we look at the photos of this sweet baby, we are reminded of the miracle of birth, and the choice opportunity that we all experience by receiving these miraculous bodies for our spirits.
I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity to come to earth and receive this miraculous body. I’m grateful to have had the privilege of helping Heavenly Father create bodies for our children. I’m in awe of the miracle of childbirth. As we prepare to meet our new granddaughter in the next few days, I’ll be reflecting on her little body and how quickly it will grow. I’ll be looking forward to watching her grow strong and learn to coordinate her little fingers and toes. I’m anxious to see her learn to walk and run. I’ll thank Heavenly Father for this beautiful little spirit that has come into our lives, but will also thank Him for her healthy and miraculous little body.
Tudie Rose is a mother of four and grandmother of ten in Sacramento, California. You can find her on Twitter as @TudieRose. She blogs as Tudie Rose at http://potrackrose.wordpress.com. She has written articles for Familius. You will find a Tudie Rose essay in Lessons from My Parents, Michele Robbins, Familius 2013, at http://www.familius.com/lessons-from-my-parents.