Every day I wake up next to a man who makes me smile. Every day I fall in love with him. Due to the selflessness and dedication of others I have a beautiful service dog to help me live a more independent life. She watches over my every step and I walk on.

After many years spent in darkness I have emerged into a world filled with magnificent light so blinding I sometimes pinch myself to make sure it's real. My family and friends are my heart. They gave me hope when there was none, strength when I needed it and love through the darkest of times.

Life is full of obstacles and hardships that often leave us reeling. We're scarred and changed, searching for a reason for it all. Not one of us will be spared the realities of life and the consequences of being. What I am thankful for, today, is the gift of now; the gift of embracing what we have and thanking God every day we have it. I am grateful for hardship. Without it we would never know the preciousness of life and the beauty that can be found in anything if you look at it hard enough. I am grateful for my challenges because they have brought me great strength. I have learned that life molds us into the people we are meant to be.

This Thanksgiving I hope you find yourselves in the presence of family and friends, happy and safe and loved. I hope that no matter your struggle, you, too, can walk on.