Here's an inspiring example of the renewing power of gratitude, courtesy of New Jersey's Courier Post. It follows the story of U.S. Marine staff sergeant Andrew Robinson, who was paralyzed from the chest down by an IED in Iraq in 2006, and the wonder to behold when someone says, "Thank You":
In his new, specially adapted home courtesy of Homes for Our Troops, Robinson can maneuver his wheelchair through wide hallways, travel up and down from the basement via an elevator, wash dishes and more. An automated hydraulic system allows him to press one button to open the door.
It was during a series of hot days last July that volunteers pitched in for a "build brigade" to bring up the frame of the house. Robinson and his wife, Sara, were handed the keys to their new home on Veterans Day.
"I was just crying," she said. "The builder gave us everything we wanted."
The couple, married for four years, previously resided in California, where they rented a regular four-bedroom home, but it was difficult for Robinson to move his wheelchair through narrow hallways or over the thick carpet. The new 2,200-square-foot home has wood flooring, wide doorways and a lift to assist Robinson in getting out of bed and going to the bathroom.
Since moving into the home, Robinson has been learning to do various tasks, but he still is limited by a lack of finger dexterity.
"I used to clean a lot, do laundry, iron and clean the kitchen," he said. "I just learned how to make a sandwich. Next, I want to cook an egg."
Robinson hopes to go to college in the fall and volunteer with organizations that help other veterans.