I died today, seven years ago.
I rose from the dead seven years ago (with lots of help from some very talented doctors.)
I always reread this today: http://tcoverride.blogspot.com/2005/06/chuck-has-been-injured-but-is-stable.html
It was my worst day. Not because I was hurt, but because I nearly widowed the most beautiful woman in the world.
Well, I got better. That is to say, wounds heal. I still carry my constant reminders of that day, the nagging and sometimes debilitating pain, the shrapnel just below the skin, the numbness in my hands, and the lack of opposable thumbs. I get a reminder every day at work when the unit goes running, does pushups or sit-ups or grass drills, pull-ups or ruck marches... and I would give anything to go with them, but just physically can't. But I am alive, and here, and well enough to train them, to pass on what I have learned over the last two decades of service. I am here to see my children grow, to age somewhat gracefully with my wife, and to enjoy the company of friends around the world.
For that I am truly grateful. For that I will gladly shoulder the aches, the phantom pain, the reconstructive surgeries, the sleepless nights. Because every day really is a gift.
I would appreciate it if you would consider making a donation today to Project Valour-it; the silver lining to this story. (www.soldiersangels.org/valour). We're currently out of funds to provide wounded troops with the same tech that helped me recover.