The day after Thanksgiving will always be a day I will never forget. Some 39 years ago, I remember waking up in an ambulance as a paramedic was cutting off my boot as another paramedic was getting an IV ready. About an hour or so before, my partner and I were on a roof of a 2-story house cutting an opening to release heat and smoke as my fellow firefighters were inside, when suddenly the roof collapsed. My partner made it off the roof, I did not. As I was falling time seemed to slow down as memories of my life flashed before me. Then, this excruciating pain radiated up my right foot through my leg until it reached my head causing a bright flash in my mind then I went unconscious.
Over the past 39 years my life has changed dramatically learning to live with physical challenges and emotional difficulties. After 17 surgeries, multiple fused joints, lots of titanium, bone plugs and a spinal stimulator implant, that night in the ambulance seemed like a lifetime ago.
I've been blessed with a loving family, amazing friends, a country I love, and a deep faith rooted in my Christian upbringing. I've traveled throughout this beautiful country seeing the amazing landscapes God created for us. Each time I come away in awe of the spectacular sights and the feeling of serenity as I travel and hike around this country. Our country is comprised of some of the world's most beautiful and diverse landscapes. And, so many stunning man-made landmarks to enhance its beauty.
As the paramedic was getting ready to give me morphine to ease my pain, I remember feeling hopeless and wondering what were the extent of my injuries? What was my future going to be like now? Then, as soon as the morphine hit, my thoughts began to float away as I drifted off in a painless sleep. Life threw me a nasty curveball 39 years ago, but like an old baseball coach once told me, "if you want to play this game at the next level you have to learn to hit the curveball".
Faith Family Friends and Country
Maybe because I had a strong support structure, I was able to survive. Maybe because I kept my faith in God it helped me cope and overcome the obstacles along the way. Maybe my love for my country helped me to heal and appreciate the positive things in my life. Maybe, just maybe, I learned to hit that curveball because my faith, family, friends and love of my country are cherished priorities in my life!
Check out the Land that I love video on the site to see many reasons for us to be thankful!
Breathe in. Breathe out. Move on.