This particular Thanksgiving I am more cognizant than ever of just how fragile our worlds are, and how much we truly have to be thankful for, to live where we live, and when we live. I’ve three things in my life this particular week that provide a bit of perspective.
My high school senior second cousin fell asleep at the wheel this past weekend, drifted off the road and ran her car into a tree. She was life-flighted to a regional trauma hospital that specializes in head injuries, where she remains in a medically-induced coma. She will spend her Thanksgiving under the care of doctors and nurses, with her family outside her room except for just a few minutes every hour. I am very thankful that even these few moments are possible, and that her physicians think that with time, she will make a full recovery.
In another hospital halfway across the country, a man I have come to respect and admire and who I am proud to call my friend is recovering from a four-hour procedure to remove his leg. His procedure was Monday, and I was stunned and elated to to get a call from him this morning. He is still in the hospital, in tremendous pain despite sedation, yet he faces a whole new lease on life with the prosthetic that awaits him. In any other time in history – and in many countries today -he would have suffered for the remainder of his days or would have already died from the medical condition that led to his amputation. He will spend Thanksgiving in the hospital, but may be back home by this weekend.
For both of these medical miracles, and blessings from God, I am very thankful.
I am also very thankful for the brave men and women who serve this nation in the military, law enforcement, and emergency services. The story of U.S. Army PFC Kyle Hockenberry, pictured below, is a living example of the love these exceptional people have for their fellow man. The message on Hockenberry’s tattoo reads “For those I love I will sacrifice.”
We have so much to be thankful for, and today, I will celebrate and honor a God, a Republic, and a People that have made all that I have or care about possible.