The date was 1/11/11. It was cold when she woke up that morning around 5:00. Five degrees cold. She even set off the fire alarm due to the fact that she neglected to open the flue in the chimney. It happens. I imagine she made herself something warm to drink and then settled down with her Bible to press into her time with her Savior. Because that’s what Joanne did. Then a few hours later, her daughter found her on the floor in the basement. She’d suffered a major stroke and is now in a hospital near Denver, Colorado, trying to wake up after two extensive surgeries on her brain. In the blink of an eye, things change. This is the same story, different day, I suppose. Not necessarily Joanne’s situation, but the reality that life, as we know it, can change so quickly. One moment we are going about our business and the next, a tragedy occurs. We don’t expect it. But when it happens, it is amazing how fast we realize just how important many things are and how unimportant other things are not. Right now, stop your plans, adjust your schedule, step outside of your normal routine and give thanks. We’ve got blessings all around us. There are things we need to focus on and things we need to forget. Oh and remember, life is short so hug your spouse, laugh with your children, give a compliment to a co-worker, or let somebody get in front of you on the highway. Or all of the above ♥ Take some time and count your blessings today. Toben and Joanne are friends of mine. Toben has been an incredible writing coach to me as I have sought out publishing my first book. If you are interested in keeping up with Joanne’s story, her husband, Toben, is updating it as he receives news. Her website is: thesimplewife.typepad.com.