1. Today, after a 72 hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to me at the grocery store and gave me a hug. When I tensed up, she realized I didn’t recognize her. She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said, “On 9-11-2001, you carried me out of the World Trade Center.”
2. Today, at the age of 70, my grandfather graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in business studies. He’s been a successful business owner most of his life, but he told me he earned his degree to fulfill a promise he made to his mother before she lost her battle with cancer 50 years ago.
3. Today, my mom is a healthy 54 year old who successfully owns and operates a popular bakery downtown – a goal she had all her life. 15 years ago she was diagnosed with cancer. In the face of death, she quit her store clerk job, opened the bakery, started chemo therapy, and succeeded on all fronts.
4. Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car, I sat on the side of the road holding him and crying. And just before he died, he licked the tears off my face.
5. Today, as a young ‘up and coming’ lawyer, everyone in the firm was congratulating me for winning my first big case this morning. And all day long all I could think about is how I used a technicality in the law to help a murderer walk away a free man.
6. Today, on our 50th wedding anniversary, she smiled at me and said, “I only wish I had met you sooner.”
7. Today, after 2 years of separation, my ex-wife and I resolved our differences and met for dinner. We laughed and chatted for almost 4 hours. Then just before she left, she handed me a large envelope. In it were 20 love letters she wrote me over the last 2 years. There was a post-it note on the envelope that said, “Letters I was too stubborn to send.”
8. Today, when I slipped on the wet tile floor a boy in a wheelchair caught me before I slammed my head on the ground. He said, “Believe it or not, that’s almost exactly how I injured my back 3 years ago.”
9. Today, someone else’s tragedy provided the miracle my family had prayed for. Thanks to this stranger, my dad will have a heart. It’s so odd to think that an accidental death just saved his life.
10. Today marks the ten year anniversary of the day when I slapped him and screamed at him remorselessly for not letting me in the bathroom after we ate breakfast. That moment also marks the positive turning point in my battle with Bulimia. I think he saved my life that day.
11. Today at 7AM I woke up feeling ill, but decided I needed the money, so I went in to work. At 3PM I got laid off. On my drive home I got a flat tire. When I went into the trunk for the spare, it was flat too. A man in a BMW pulled over, gave me a ride, we chatted, and then he offered me a job. I start tomorrow.
12. Today, I was working in a coffee shop when 2 gay men walked in holding hands. As you might expect, heads started turning. Then a young girl at the table next to me asked her mom why 2 men were holding hands. Her mom replied, “Because they love each other.”
13. Today, after the funeral, I went back to my parent’s empty house – the house I grew up in. As I gazed around in awe of all the great memories we made in it, I noticed an old photo of my parent’s in their 20’s sitting on the coffee table. In my father’s handwriting, across the back was written, “In this moment, we were infinite.”
14. Today, as I walked away from the airport gate alone with my head held high and eyes beet red from crying, I knew at that moment what it meant to be a military wife.
15. Today, a lady walked up to me in the gym and asked me to give her some workout pointers. She said, “You look incredible! Watching you gradually tone-up and progress in here has become my primary inspiration to get in shape.” It made me smile because I’ve struggled with my weight since I was 15.
16. Today, my grandpa died. As I was crying and telling my grandma how sorry I was, she said, “Let’s stop being so sad and instead celebrate the 80 wonderful years he was alive… 60 of which he spent with me.”
17. Today, as my father, three brothers, and two sisters stood around my mother’s hospital bed, my mother uttered her last coherent words before she died. She simply said, “I feel so loved right now. We should have gotten together like this more often.”