by Melissa Brunner
For the past 19 years, on Sept. 26, I take a few moments to look at the sky, take a deep breath and smile at the many blessings of life.
This is the anniversary of the night I survived being held up and abducted at gunpoint. I've always thought of it as my "Alive Day." Turns out, that's a real phrase.
WiseGEEK.com defines an alive day "the date of an anniversary of a very close escape from death." The site goes on to say that alive days date back to the Vietnam War among members of the military, possibly earlier. The troops share a bond of escaping death during an engagement with the enemy. Alive days can renew that connection and celebrate a safe return from the battlefield.
No matter the reason, it is an occasion, not to dwell on the negative, but to reflect on the positive that has followed. Most everyone has endured some traumatic event in their life. It is part of what makes us who we are. We choose whether the event will infect and destroy us, or whether it will nurture us to grow, rise above and use it as a catalyst for positive change. You don't forget, but you do move forward.