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Even during tough times, give thanks

By WILL WHATLEY, Alabama Daily News

On Nov. 22, Alex Smith won a National Football League game for the first time in 742 days. In most instances, this would be a neat little trivia fact that one would forget right after hearing it. But there’s more to the story than what’s on the surface and those details need to be told.

Just over two years ago, on Nov. 18, 2018, Smith suffered a gruesome broken leg against the Houston Texans. He went through 17 surgeries and faced the threat of possibly losing his leg, then his life.

However, something kept him fighting to not only save himself but even get back on the field, a considerable task given the severity of the injury and him being on the back end of his career. At 36 years of age, Smith doesn’t have much football left in him.

Once he miraculously got back on the field, Smith still faced considerable odds of ever getting in the game. He wasn’t even the backup; Smith was listed third on the depth chart. He had essentially achieved quarterback emeritus status with the Washington football organization. But one guy soured in his on-field development and another got injured, and Smith found himself once again leading the offense.

You have to think Alex Smith is enjoying this victory, both on and off the field, during the 2020 edition of Thanksgiving. And he should be. He went through hell to get back to where he was. He had nothing to prove, yet he still pursued his personal best.

I think it’s safe to say humanity is going through hell right now. We’re facing down an historic pandemic and the considerable ripple effects it’s having on our ways of life. People are getting sick left and right, and some of those people don’t make it. Businesses are closing and folks are losing their jobs as we head into the holiday season. There are food lines forming across the country. Add to this more worries about everyday issues and you may not even have the time to stop and count your blessings.

It’s hard to consider, much less savor, good things when so many bad things are happening all around you. But it’s times like these when thanks given and appreciation shown because it’s those minor things, the ones that are often overlooked, that will carry us through this valley and get us back to the mountaintop.

By all means, take this virus seriously because it is serious. Wear your mask, wash your hands and avoid large gatherings. But for sanity’s sake, take a moment to be thankful for the little things, for essential personnel, for a moment of peace, for those who mean the most to you. If we can take something away from all the pain and strife, let it be an appreciation for life’s little things because they’re often the most crucial and most likely to get you through to the good times.

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