I’m going to break from tradition a bit today, rather than listing 10 things I am thankful for this week I’m going to list just one. I didn’t post my gratitude list last week because I didn’t feel I had much to be thankful for. Two Sundays ago there were two deaths in my extended family. They happened within hours of each other, and I spent most of that week trying to remain positive in spite of the sad circumstances. During that time, I was continually being reminded of the importance of living your life to enjoy it.
Today I am thankful for one thing: Life.
In 2005, I was in a car crash that should have killed me. As fortune would have it, I had angels protecting me, and our car narrowly missed smashing head-on into two trucks. In spite of the fact that the car skidded into a ditch, two of the wheels were still on the ground which meant that the car could be pushed out. In 2010, I was in another car crash. This time our car broadsided another vehicle at a four-way stop. Though the air bags didn’t deploy, and the car frame was completely bent, every person in the car walked away with minor injuries. Even better? It was declared a no-fault accident because we were just following the flow of traffic. If anyone were to judge by the appearance of our car, it would be deduced that the people inside were either dead, or severely injured. Yet all of us walked away with just a few sore muscles.
I have come so close to death, that I value my life that much more. I am not where I thought I would be at this age, and many of my dreams seem too unattainable to reach on my own, but I am thankful for my life because I have been given more than one chance to live it the right way. I initially started keeping a gratitude journal to keep track of all of the blessings in my lifetime. To whom much is given, much is required. I am not complacent, but rather, I recognize that I am truly blessed to be where I am, and expressing anything other than gratitude would be the same as whining.
I hate whining.
So this week–and every week after–I am thankful for life. I am thankful for the good things; because they remind me that being alive is a good thing, and I am thankful for the negatives; because they help me to grow in character, strength, and appreciation.