The other day I asked my Father: “What are you thankful for?” He looked at me with his teary blue eyes and said “YOU! I am thankful that you are alive. I am thankful that I have my daughter standing next to me and not in a tiny urn I can hold in my hand.” Thats when it hit me, all to often Fathers are losing their daughters to Pulmonary embolism, strokes, and heart disease.
I am thankful to be raised by such a wonderful man and have parents that support my crazy life. They never gave me the option to give up or back down. The day I was lying in the ICU my Mama told me “You can cry about this for 5 minutes and then you’re done feeling sorry for yourself. Ok?” We cried for 5 minutes and then I put my big girl pants on and fought back. Fought for the life that I wanted to lead and I became a thriving survivor. Giving up was never an option. However giving back was.
Over the past two years I have received an out pouring of support from my beautiful friends, family, the American Heart Association, Stop the Clot, and countless others. They cheered me on when I wanted to give up. They kept giving me info, web links, and books so I could live a heart healthy life style. They are the reason I am thriving. An I am forever in debt to all of these wonderful people. Thankful that they believed in me and believed that I would see a better day. Thank you for never giving up on me.
So I pledge…
To not just survive – but thrive. I will learn how to live stronger and longer – for me, my family, and my community. I will join the movement, take action to improve my health and to share information with others to help prevent and overcome stroke.
Please remember that as you sit down at your table full of family and friends…..remember that at someone’s table there is an empty chair that was once filled by their daughter. My heart goes out to the family with an empty chair at their table this Thanks Giving. It is because of you I advocate and educate the public on the #1 killer in America. One day there will be no empty chairs at the Thanks Giving table. There will only be full chairs with Healthy Hearts gathering to give thanks.