November Thanks #22 | A Gift Grateful

A thirty-day exercise in pausing, reflecting, appreciating, and giving thanks for simple things.

There is one gift that I am grateful for every single day and to many it seems somewhat silly. It even causes some to roll their eyes, as if I am being melodramatic. But if you know my history, it makes perfect sense.

This past summer I turned 53 years old. If I live to my next birthday—and I have no knowledge of any reason why that should not happen—I will have outlived both of my parents. Their deaths came when I was a teenager and the loss of them caused repercussions for my entire life. The older I get, the more I understand the depth of the impact that loss had on who I became, on the path I followed, and on my morals and values and beliefs. And the older I get, the more I treasure each and every day.

I am grateful to be alive.

Simple. Silly? Perhaps. But to one who has first-hand experience with the adage “life is short”, this is a profound statement.

Consider Brittany Maynard, the woman who recently fought for death in dignity. Consider Tracy Morgan, the comedian who was severely injured in June of this year when hit by a truck and who now faces a lifetime of the aftereffects of severe brain injury. Consider the friend or family member in your own circle who was diagnosed in the last year with cancer or lupus or ALS or some other debilitating and likely fatal disease. Consider Gabby Giffords. Consider the children of Sandyhook, even the ones who survived. I could go on and on.

Life is short. Life turns on a dime. Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.

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