- A friend's daughter was born with a chromosomal defect, and died 5 hours later.
- When a friend was 2 months pregnant, her husband was killed by a drunk driver. She also had a 7 year-old and a 3 year-old.
- During his shift on base, a guy in my Sunday school class fell to his death while changing a light bulb. He left behind his widow, a 4 year-old, a 2 year-old, and a 1 month-old.
- A girl in Bible study was diagnosed with 2 different types of brain tumors. The treatment for one type caused the other type to grow, and visa-versa. She died less than a year after diagnosis.
- A friend's teenage daughter was ostracized in high school because of her epilepsy. She was healed miraculously, and her social life blossomed. On her way home from attending her first party, she lost control of her car and went through the windshield, breaking her neck and dying on the scene. Her mother passed her on the road less than a minute before the accident.
- An uncle had his back broken when the mine he was working in collapsed.
- An acquaintance lost his job, then his house. His wife left him alone to deal with his financial problems along with their 2 year-old and 1 year-old. He had to place his children in foster care because he couldn't find a shelter that would take both men and children.
- My cousin was passed over for cheerleading because she was a brittle diabetic. She committed suicide.
... a friend, a guy in my Sunday school class, a girl in Bible study, a friend's teenage daughter, an uncle, an acquaintance, my cousin... all of these people somehow connected to me had horrible things happen to them. But none of these happened to me. Sure, bad things have happened to me, but none like this. Nothing like holding your newborn in your arms as she dies. Nothing like telling your children that daddy won't be coming home, and raising children who will never remember him. Nothing like being sent home to die, or feeling so hopeless that you decide to die. Nothing like having to learn to walk again, or spending years trying to get my children back. Nothing like experiencing a miracle, only to die a few months later. Instead of just having one day to be thankful for these and all of my many other blessings, I need to be thankful each and every day, ever hour, every minute.