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Bill, I totally agree.
I want to share a chapter from my book, Views From My Chariot: A Wheelchair Oddity, on gratitude entitled "Abundance":

I believe a vital supplement for the soul is gratitude.

For six months or so after I migrated south, and while adjusting to a foreign land (from a wheelchair—I’m southern, through and through), new friends, and family, scheduled days of the week when they took me into their homes for food, and fellowship—sometimes lunch, sometimes dinner but always served with TLC. Living on an SSI check of $286.00 a month left my cupboards bare most of the time.

I remember opening my refrigerator one weekend to find half a jar of salsa—hot, of course, and an avocado. This was the seventies before Tex-Mex was popular. For the first time, I experienced half an avocado filled with salsa—half for lunch, the other half for dinner. With one exception, those are the only meals I remember. But it was delicious: buttery, spicy avocado with explosions of crispy chunk of onion, peppers, black olives, and tomatoes! I think that is why, to this day, I love spicy Wholly Guacamole.
I realized then I had all I needed.

I have become a big believer in karma, and the golden rule. These beliefs govern everything I do and say. As a result, I believe serendipities occur in my life with regularity, like going into TCBY for a yogurt and leaving with a free quart (uh-oh)…receiving minimally bent patio furniture and being told to keep it—the company will send replacements… getting an eighteenth century, oil-painted crucifix-scene on a wooden cross discounted forty percent. Always generosity.

I don’t believe these things would come my way had I been exempt from the trials, frustrations, and hardships of the last thirty-four years. By experiencing these things, I have developed a deeper character. But, I can pinpoint the exact time I knew my life was dangerously moving in the wrong direction.

Blindly thinking I could change the self-destructive, alcohol-and-drug-addicted behavior of the husband of my youth, I fell into the same libertine lifestyle. Feeling He had not answered my prayers, I shook my fist at God and told Him to leave me alone. I remember fearing myself and vainly hoping not to go beyond that point of no return.

As I have experienced, there is a point in our lives that we so defy God’s eternal laws to numb our conscience to all moral reasoning that we set our automatic pilot on an ill-fated course for destruction. Subconsciously, I knew if left to myself this would happen to me.

In the upstairs hall of my Snowmass, Colorado condominium, a couple of months before my wreck, I heard His familiar voice say, “You will be paralyzed in a car wreck if you do not change your ways.” I was too weak to change the momentum, and direction, my lifestyle had taken.

But the One Who created me and wrought me in my mother’s womb heard my heart’s cry. In a moments’ time, the wreck that should have been fatal proved to be the blessing of a second chance. He divinely intervened in my life to redirect and reconstruct my path.

Scientists claim our bodies completely renew themselves every three months with new cells replacing the old, dead cells. So, scientifically, and theoretically, no one should recognize me. That was then.

This is now: I love natures’ collaborative rebirth in spring…summers’ rambunctious masses of colors…azure skies in autumns’ chill with trees ablaze in amber and carnelian…solitary, grey silhouettes of winter, and the awesome majesty of the full moons’ glow upon a pristine snow.

I thank God for the security of a warm, comfortable home on cold, rainy nights. In clement weather, I relish my independence in being able to wheel onto my back porch and be one with my leaping lizards, bluebirds, cardinals, chickadees, house wrens, and hummingbirds coexisting harmoniously…being entertained by squirrels barking at intruders…grateful that I can hear tree branches dancing to whispering breezes, see the dappled sunlight on the woods’ floor, and that I can feel its warm, soothing rays on my skin.

My heart has been softened by others’ acceptance, generosity, and kindness…by my felines’ unconditional love and their faithful companionship…and by Gods’ unfailing mercy and grace.

Hello Cynthia,

Thank you so much for sharing your valuable comments and the excerpt from your book, Views from My Chariot: A Wheelchair Oddity.

I can relate when you talk about “the blessing of a second chance” in your comment. I to was blessed to get a second chance at life in 1999 when I was able to awaken from a seven month long coma on life support, as a person who is now completely blind due to the critical medical condition that caused me to lapse into the coma. As soon as I could move on my own I was ready and eager to accept the new challenges and enjoy my new life.

Nice to virtually meet you Cynthia and I hope to read your book.

Does anyone else have comments or stories regarding thankfulness you want to share? We all look forward to hearing from you.

Bill Tipton
Contributing Author,
Global Dialogue Center
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/wdtipton
Facebook: http://profile.to/wdtipton
Twitter: http://twitter.com/wdtipton

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