From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

February 20

With 20 years of marriage ended, I was now a single parent convinced there was nothing beyond this dismal, dark moment in my life.

My daily two-mile jog temporarily lifted my spirits, so I didn’t want to miss it, even though a radio bulletin warned of rapidly approaching thunderstorms, hail and high winds.

As I emerged from the leafy tunnel that marked my usual turnaround point, I saw massive black clouds boiling up. Although every step was agony, I kept going until only one long, steep hill lay between me and the safety of home. Suddenly, a terrible roar filled my ears, the ground shook, and I was knocked flat on the ground. I gasped for breath as lightning struck a tall metal fence post at the edge of a field and a ball of fire rolled across the ditch, blinding me with its glare. Trees bent double in the wind. I lifted myself on all fours, ready to take my chances against the elements, and made it to my car. I was alive!

Nothing would ever be the same again. Confronting death made me realize the preciousness of life; I intended to live it to the fullest.

Maggie Baxter

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