Before Halloween my wife informed me that stores were already beginning to display Christmas items. We have yet to celebrate Thanksgiving and the majority of the advertisements on television are related to Christmas. I believe retailers are rushing us to Christmas to increase their chances to make a profit. I feel very strongly the Thanksgiving holiday gives us an opportunity to realize how fortunate we really are. I tell people from the minute I had struck the bottom underwater I am one of the luckiest people in the world.
Travis Roy has said “There are times in our lives when we choose our challenges and other times when challenges simply choose us. It is what we do in the face of those challenges that defines who we are, and more importantly, who we can and will become.” Years ago a psychiatrist asked me to identify as many positive things, as I could, that resulted from my accident. After a great deal of thought the only thing I could come up with was that I had met some wonderful people. As I think about the question today I realized that there are many things that I really do have to be thankful for. I have been given a second chance at life. (I had no pulse when I was brought on the beach). Marge, my wife of 46 years, and family have stood by me every step of the way. Everyday Marge goes out of her way to help me enjoy quality of life. My nurses are always willing to go the extra mile. I have many friends who give of their time to help me do the activities I love. I have surprisingly good health. I have learned more about human nature and the power that exists within the human mind. I have wonderful memories that I am able to revisit. I have been able to continue being an educator and, I hope, help others to deal with the challenges they face. The kindness that is in others has become very evident to me. When we watch the news we often are led believe that there is much evil in society in general but I know that is not true. Finally, even though I am in a chair I have much freedom and opportunity. So, don’t allow yourself to be rushed to Christmas without stopping to realize what you have to be thankful for.