On the second prayer, Thanks:
It's a distillation of what she's written, I know, and by no means a complete treatise, but still, my breath caught when I read this passage because I asked myself what happens when you've lost a son (or a daughter, or a mother or father, or a spouse--all of us have lost someone or something important, I know). Or what happens when the diagnosis is not such a great one and you find yourself facing the end of your life way sooner than you expected?"Thanks is the prayer of relief that help was on the way. ... It can be [the] pettiest, dumbest thing, but it could also be that you get the phone call that the diagnosis was much, much, much better than you had been fearing. ... The full prayer, and its entirety, is: Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you. But for reasons of brevity, I just refer to it as Thanks. "It's amazement and relief that you caught a break; that your family caught a break; that you didn't have any reason to believe that things were really going to be OK, and then they were and you just can't help but say thank you."
I don't know what my son's future might have held. What I know right now, today, is that it's tough not having him around and I miss him a lot. I can say "thanks" for the time I had to love him and to be around him and to have him love us. I've certainly said "help" many times in the past year or so.
And really, now that it is coming up on a year since we lost him, I can almost say "Wow" with a quiet sense of reverence. I have survived but it is a tough road to walk.