Even though I’ve worked extremely hard for everything I have, never again will I take anything for granted. I know what it’s like to lose it all. I’ve experienced being completely alone, with absolutely nobody calling or caring. Like an island castaway, the depths of that loneliness cannot be fully explained.

The fall left me bruised, broken, but hardly beaten. My resilience has an assortment of weapons at its disposal. I immediately began setting short and long-term goals for my comeback.

Here I sit, talking to my wife as I write this piece for you. I’ve traveled to Texas four times in the past two months to visit my wife and children. I’ve spent Christmas and New Year’s with my family. Sobriety and an unrelenting desire to recover what’s essential can work miracles. I am the living proof that happy endings can and do happen. Do not ever give up!

Joseph Shanklin

January 8, 2021

6 thoughts on “Take Nothing For Granted

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