This morning I received the terrible news that one of my friends suddenly and very unexpectedly lost a friend, teammate, and protege late last night.  Throughout the rest of the day my thoughts kept going to Reid, Matthew, and all of Matthew’s friends and family.  So many lives changed in just the blink of an eye, I couldn’t even begin to imagine their loss today.

One thing I was reminded of was that if this happened to him out of the blue, it could happen to any of us, myself included.  As the day went on I caught myself looking at the world a little differently…  If this was my last day, would it be the last day I would want it to be?  With my brain wrapped around that idea my actions throughout the afternoon changed slightly.

Even though I’d driven 5 hours I told Becky that I’d volunteer to pick up Dominic and drive him to Scout camp – adding another 45-60 minutes of drive time to my day.  I did it because I hadn’t spent any quality time with him yet today and I just wanted to be with him.  We had a great ride together and enjoyed conversation about the day, camping, and small runways (long story!).  When I dropped him of we had a good hug, shared our “I love you’s” and I was on my way.


Driving off I noticed an incredible pink-ish purple hue to the sky and took a moment to soak it in while parked in the parking lot.  It was so awesome I stopped to take a picture of it.  Heading out to the main road I saw that it had gotten even more spectacular and almost looked like bright pink flames flickering in the sky.  Instead of turning left I went right and drove over a bridge to get a better view.  I parked above and just paused and soaked it in.  Saying a little prayer for my friend, Matthew, and all of Matthew’s family and friends I just enjoyed the beauty God had made.  I breathed and was thankful to be alive.

It wasn’t until I was driving home listening to some great music (Just Breathe by Pearl Jam, Rise by Eddie Vedder, and We Don’t Know by The Strumbellas) that I realized why my heart was so full of joy.  I was thankful to be alive, to be here in this moment soaking in an incredible sunset, heading home to be with my family, and having just spent time with Dominic.  Life is awesome and I was totally focused on how much I appreciate it.  It was a truly wonderful feeling.


When I got home I had the pleasure of seeing the newest creation Gavin had made from his Tinker Crate.  He was smiling from ear to ear as he operated his hydraulic crane.  He was in his element and it was awesome.

LuLu was in a very playful mood and ran up to me with a toy in her mouth.  We proceeded to play and wrestle with the toy and even let Skywalker join in.  In those moments my thoughts were nowhere but on spending time with my girls and appreciating having them in my life.

I’m writing my blog now so I can stay 100% focused on calling my little brother back  and spending time with Becky the rest of the night before we head off to bed.

Today I’m thankful for my life.  I’m thankful to have had such a perfect end of the day, one in which every breath was full of gratitude and appreciation for this incredible gift that God has given me.  If today is indeed my last day of walking this earth, I will die a happy man as I am full of joy and so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life.

Before I go, please say a little prayer tonight for my friend, for Matthew and all his loved ones, and take a moment to be thankful for this incredible gift you have today.



2 thoughts on “Day 521 – Thankful for Taking Time to Be Thankful for My Life

  1. Mike, I will easily admit to getting choked up on this. You present a great perspective and a wonderful lesson for all of us. Life is precious. Handle with prayer.

    I’ve heard from so many in our Express family with offers of condolences especially some super generous guy in Winona MN offering to send out teammates while my team mourns. (Thanks, Mike!).

    I just arrived home following a tremendously exhausting day visiting my three offices with my wife and consoling my employees. I appreciate the perspective and your words of encouragement!


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