Thursday, October 5, 2017

'Glad to be Alive' Day

We often don't think about our deaths until we meet with situations that could take our lives. We go through our days always expecting that there will be a tomorrow, and are shocked to hear when tomorrow doesn't come for people we know, when they die suddenly. Often a surprising, sudden death helps us to be more grateful for our life, at least until we are lulled back into believing that there will always be a tomorrow for us on this side of the grass.

Thirty years ago today, I was travelling with a performing group in Eastern Canada when the tour bus I was in rolled down an under-construction embankment in the Laurentians. I remember the bus tipping to the left, and suddenly feeling like my friends and I were bouncing around in a dryer drum. Unlike many other similar accidents in the famed hills of Quebec, we came out relatively unscathed because our trip to the bottom was just two revolutions. Sadly, our bus driver later died of complications related to his injuries, and one of our cast mates with a fractured skull had to leave the group due to migraines. The rest of us escaped with minor fractures, cuts and bruises, and were mostly just traumatized. To this day, some of my friends report a hesitancy to climb aboard a bus.

Ever since that day thirty years ago, October 5th has been my personal 'Glad to be Alive' Day. It's a good exercise, now and then, to remember that tomorrow isn't guaranteed. As I was moodling the paragraphs above, I received word that a woman I exchanged a smile and a few words with at a local election rally the night before last died suddenly yesterday morning. She looked perfectly healthy when I gave her my written question for the candidates. Her family and friends are reeling, I'm sure. They are on my mind and heart today, too, and in my prayers.

We just never know when our time might be up. If we could really be aware of the gift of life all the time, every day would be 'Glad to be Alive' Day. But living in that kind of awareness takes more effort than seems humanly possible. I try to remember to be thankful for my life every morning when I open my eyes, but too often, the dog's whine for breakfast or some other life event gets in the way of that train of thought. That's why I make an effort to have my annual designated day on October 5th every year because of the bus accident.

Do you have a 'Glad to be Alive' Day?


  1. So many items we can all relate to! That fragile state when one is truly aware how close they might be to the other sides is blessedly fleeting, but does bring its blessing.

    1. My 'Glad to be Alive' Day always really fits with this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, I find...


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