What Are You Thankful For?



This Thursday when you sit around your table with family and friends, what will you be thankful for?

If your family is anything like mine, Thanksgiving prayers will generally consist of being grateful for food, health and shelter.

While there are many blessings in life to be thankful for this holiday season, I feel the most gratitude for the ability to breathe, to move and think. This allows me to experience life’s beautiful opportunities. Some may see my life and ask, “What’s to be cheerful about, everything you do is dependent on being tethered to an oxygen chord. To that I retort, “There are no problems in life, only challenges.”

On the days I feel my difficulties are insurmountable, I remind myself that things could be worse. If I compare myself with Hulk Hogan, I’m a wimp. If I compare myself with Popeye’s girlfriend Olive Oyl, I’m the strongest man alive! It all comes down to perspective and controlling your mindset in order to achieve personal goals.

Mind over matter.

When I was in the hospital with a collapsed lung and hooked to a ventilator, it was uncertain if I would ever breathe on my own again. After weeks of fluctuating recovery, I was weened off the breathing tube as my lungs became stronger! My mentality was summed up by my favorite Sir Ben Kingsley quote: “Where there’s a WILL, there’s a WAY…..and there’s ALWAYS a will.”

It’s been over 20 years and while I am not fully independent of breathing assistance, I AM breathing independently!
I guess the moral of the story is that if you have the ability to think, move and breath, ANYTHING is possible! That is something we can all be thankful for.






Memorial Day Gratitude


When I think of a patriot, I think of someone who is willing to die for their country; someone who puts the well-being of society above their own. I don’t know if anyone would consider me a patriot, although I am patriotic. What I do have is a deep urge to serve a greater purpose. Call it destiny or a calling, I’ve always felt that my purpose was to help others in a big way!

Born and raised in the hot Arizonan desert, I have had a special fondness of water activities; swimming, fishing, boating and the occasional shower. It was only natural that I began thinking about getting into a water related profession.

A grandson to WWII vets, I heard their stories and became inspired to find my direction in life. I too would have liked to have joined the Armed Services; serving the greater good, learning a particular set of skills (see Taken), traveling the world and being on the open water. One day as I pondered a job that incorporated all my interests, something clicked! What could be better than joining the Navy?!?!


Unfortunately, as my heart and lung challenges grew, it became clear that the Navy was not in the cards. I may not have been able to join the military on the battlefield but I can still serve others. It’s a matter of using my passions for the environment, humor and advocating for the underdog to fill the needs of my community and effect change.

We are all soldiers in the fight for a better world, however, we reserve today to celebrate those who risked their lives to prove it.

Happy Memorial Day!


~ Breathe This Life ~