And just like that, in the blink of an eye, the holiday season is upon us. But before you sit down tomorrow to enjoy that glorious feast, take a moment to give thanks to those around you and for the plentiful gifts bestowed upon you. Have you ever wondered why we celebrate on one day as opposed to every day? I know I have. Just some food for thought.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of listening to Army Sergeant First Class Joe Kapacziewski speak at the Middlesex County Chamber Breakfast as he was honored as the Role Model of the Year by the Chamber. His story is eye-opening and truly inspirational. As he shared in his remarks, Joe was injured by an enemy grenade when he and his men were ambushed in Iraq on October 3, 2005. The ambush resulted in severe injuries to Joe’s leg, hip, artery and nerves. He spent seven months at a rehabilitation facility relearning daily tasks that we all take for granted. As he stated during his remarks and in during his Q and A, family, friends and his support group often got him through these difficult times. However, after more than 40 surgeries and countless hours of rehab, Joe made the difficult decision to have his leg amputated and then went for intense physical therapy to relearn how to walk. Through hard work and determination, Joe was the first Ranger to return to the line with a prosthetic and was deployed to Afghanistan six times. Furthermore, Joe was deployed eleven times in support of the Global War on Terrorism. However, Joe shared that his return came with naysayers and those who doubted his ability and cautioned him in his quest to return. Yet, he stared adversity in the face and is the true epitome of an American hero and someone who we can all look up to.
So this Thanksgiving, I have plenty to be thankful for. Like Joe, I live for every day and count my blessings.
- My rock, my best friend – Ashley
- Family and friends
- My continued good health
- My job and generous co-workers
- The simple joys of life
- My dog, Coddington
- The setbacks endured this past year that have made me stronger and given me character
- The freedom of life and ability to live
- The ability to find hope and laughter even in bleak situations
- Great and lasting connections made with the wonderful people from the CTBTA
This list comprises just a small sample of all that I have to be thankful for. I hope and believe that next year, at this time, I’ll be in a similar situation and counting my blessings and giving thanks for the wonderful gifts I recognize everyday. However, I cannot but help to think of what my MRI next month will show. Was the brightness just an aberration or was it tumor activity? Time will tell. But until that day, let’s give thanks and be grateful for the everyday gifts we receive.
So while you are enjoying that turkey and gravy, be thankful that you’re able to do so with your family and in-laws and say a prayer for me.