This morning, I had the privilege of being present at the memorial service for a woman I have known my whole life. Although I had known her since my childhood, I learned more about her at this memorial through the words and stories told by her daughters, who are my peers and friends. I heard the most incredible words in the stories that they told about their mom.
Both daughters remarked that they really couldn’t recall a day of their lives that their mom didn’t say these words:
“It’s a great day to be alive, isn’t it?”
Those words resonated for me. After all, isn’t that exactly why I walk and crew in the 3Day for the Cure? We each should always be grateful for and reminded that life is short, and life – every day of it – is a gift. Although I have been walking and crewing in the 3Day walks for 9 years now, I can sometimes lose touch with the very basic reason that we walk. We walk because we are the ones who can. We walk in memory of friends lost. We walk in honor of survivors fighting. We walk for the daughters we are glad to know are healthy. We walk in the hope that someday nobody will worry about losing their loved one to this disease. But really, that simple message sums it all up. We walk BECAUSE IT IS A GREAT DAY TO BE ALIVE.
So, there I was, heading into the afternoon with that thought bouncing around in my head. And off I went with my 16 year old daughter so she could practice highway driving. About half an hour into things, another car merged onto the highway without yielding and we were hit on the passenger side. I’ve never actually been in a moving car in an accident, and it was pretty frightening. I saw the accident coming and there was little I could do to stop it. My daughter, with only 4 months of driving experience, reacted exactly right, and she probably saved our lives. She didn’t swerve into the next lane where we would definitely have been collided into, spun badly around or worse. She didn’t slam on her brakes in a panic causing us to be rear-ended at highway speeds. She remained calm enough to slow us down into a gentle collision. Sure the merging car crashed into us. And yes, we were all shook up and both cars sustained damage. But it could have been so much worse.
And there it was, clear as the squashed up quarter-panel and the badly bent passenger doorframe. Clear as the light of day that we all walked away into.
It is a great day to be alive. Every. Single. Day.