Thursday, October 15, 2009

Renee Bondi

Today I reconnected with an old friend, an author that I adore and admire. Her name is Renee Bondi and she is a quadriplegic. The first twenty-nine years of her life were experienced with legs and arms that worked. The last twenty have been spent in a wheelchair, relying on a caregiver to attend to her needs.

Twenty years ago, Renee woke up in the middle of the night after diving off the end of her bed onto the floor. She could not move. At. All. With barely a whisper of a voice, she called for her housemate, but she didn't couldn't imagine that she would hear her. But God nudged her friend out of a deep sleep and made her hear that whisper so that Renee could get the medical help that she desperately needed. Renee's story is nothing short of miraculous. She made it through those first months, and then the next year. Through another miracle she regained her breath control and begin singing again. She now travels around the country speaking and singing. She is a published author, an accomplished musician. And she gave birth to a boy 14 years ago.

What I have always loved about Renee is her sweet spirit. She didn't sign up for the life that she has now. She never would have imagined how her life would turn out. But in spite of the obstacles that she faces every day, there is no bitterness in her. Sure she has some really, really tough days. But she believes that God has her here for a purpose, wheelchair or not, and she will persevere. She believe in her ministry of speaking and recording, and that she is exactly where God wants her to be.

Seeing her today, I was reminded again that her worse days are far worse than my worse days. I have much to be grateful for, even when my world is a mess.

I have always loved this old song sung by Rosemary Clooney in White Christmas. The lyrics seem fitting today.

Count Your Blessings
by Irving Berlin

When I'm worried and I can't sleep,
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings.
When my bankroll is getting small
I remember when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings.