Today, as we’re gathered around the table before our Thanksgiving meal, my dad smiles and says, “I’m just so thankful that we’re all here together.”

Of course, at first, you might just think its because my brothers and I all live a few hours from home, or the fact that last year one of my brothers couldn’t make it home for Thanksgiving. Yeah, that’s maybe one part of it.

But when my dad squeezed my hand and looked at me.. I knew that wasn’t quite what he meant.

I’ve been wondering where to start as I write about how grateful I am to be alive.

I could start by saying that my dad did months of research before buying my car. I could start by saying it was just a normal, happy day. I could start so many ways. But I’ll start it like this: I was in a car accident last February. It was the absolute worst day of my life and a day that I’ll never forget. I’ll say that it breaks my heart to think about it, and I’ll admit that it was a day that changed my life forever.

I deal with flashbacks, nightmares, and the after effects of traumatic stress. I deal with gritting my teeth as people make jokes. I deal with the thoughts causing my eyes to fill with tears. I deal with unsympathetic people. I deal with the fear every time I open my car door. I deal with all of that because I am so, so, so lucky to be alive.

Of course, I struggle with the ‘ifs.’ What if my dad hadn’t done the research? What if I’d left just five minutes earlier? What if, what if, what if. Sometimes, it caused me to question God’s plan for me.

Today, I’m beyond thankful for family, food, friends, fellowship, and faith. I’m thankful that I’m here. I’m continually changing, growing, learning, coping, strengthening. I hit rock bottom on that horrible night last February.

God has a plan, I’m sure of it now. He wanted me to tell you this story: to remind you all the be just a little more thankful for your good health this holiday season, to wear your seatbelts, and  to remember that you are absolutely blessed.

I’m here this Thanksgiving, and for that I am eternally thankful.


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