Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Friday, August 5, 2011

If Only

Families are strengthened when individuals in them accept life as it is and not as they wished it were. By learning from the past, living in the present, and preparing for the future, families can continue to move forward in their lives and become more successful.

My youngest daughter and her family have been dealing with the results of an accident involving their two-year-old son and a fire pit. Her family went camping and boating with her older brother and his family at Bear Lake in Utah, and they all had an enjoyable time until the last few hours of the trip. The children all understood that the fire was "hot" and that they were to be careful around the fire pit; they all gave due respect to the fire throughout the trip.

When the time came to break camp and load the boat on the trailer, there was difficulty in getting the boat started. This difficulty delayed the group from getting on the highway and caused extra efforts. My son-in-law was searching in a bag for a tool or piece of equipment, and his two-year-old son was beside him watching what he was doing. Benson took a step backward, tripped, and landed in the fire pit on his back on top of hot embers. His father immediately pulled him out of the pit, yanked off his shirt, and plunged him under a cold-water faucet. The boy, of course, was screaming at the top of his lungs - probably as much from the shock of the cold water as from the burns. My grandson received first and second degree burns that covered about one-third to one-half of his little back, but he received excellent and timely treatment and may escape without scarring.

I was as concerned about my daughter and her husband as I was about their son because I know that situations like this accident sometimes cause problems. When my daughter was making statements such as "If only the boat had started like it should have" and "If only we had poured water on the coals earlier," I feared that she would have a difficult time moving from what happened in the past into the present. I spoke with her a week or so after the accident to see what her mental and emotional state was, and I was very relieved to have her tell me that neither she nor her husband were blaming themselves or the other for what was a true accident. They had done the necessary teaching and had taken normal precautions to prevent accidents; they had no reason to blame themselves for what was a true accident. Benson doesn't seem to be bothered by the burn except when it is being treated, and his personal doctor expects full recovery.

Individuals or families who fail to accept what life deals to them cannot move forward. Sometimes, spouses began to blame the other for what happened and end up damaging or destroying the marriage. Families grow stronger when they can look at a situation, accept it for what it is, and move forward in solving any problems created.

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