Appreciation of Life

Being that father’s day is upon us; I couldn’t help but think of this as an appropriate topic, for today. Father’s Day originated in 1910, in the United States of America, shortly after the country started celebrating Mother’s Day. It became an official holiday in 1972. Sonora Smart Dodd, from Spokane, Washington is credited, as the originator of this holiday. Her father, a Civil War veteran, raised her and her five siblings, after her mother passed away during childbirth. It is said the idea arose in Sonora’s mind, while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon, at her church. Sonora voiced her opinion with local religious leaders, which supported her idea. The first Father’s Day was held on June 19, 1910, the month of Sonora’s  father’s birth.


Even though I fully support the idea of setting a date out of the year, to celebrate and show gratitude for everything that fathers and mothers do; I fear to think that if we did not have these days to appreciate our parents, if we still would. This does not only apply to parents, is Thanksgiving the only day to give thanks? I speak for myself when I say that I know for a fact, that I did not always have the same appreciation for life, as I do today. I realize that I often took life for granted and did not take the time to appreciate all the blessings life has to offer. For me, it took the phenomenon of seeing my life, nearly come to an end. It is very bitter to admit how closed-minded we could be. The worst part is that some of us will go through life never fully being able to appreciate, all the great things that surround us.



Ever since my ordeal, there is not a day that goes by, that I do not allow to go by without showing some kind of appreciation for my life. First and foremost, I would not be here, if it wasn’t for the heart that beats inside me. This heart belonged to a man, in my opinion, was far greater than I ever will be. It was his appreciation for life and graciousness that made him become a donor. The end of his life signified the continuance of life for six other people, including myself. The unselfish and honorable act of donating his organs makes him the greatest of heroes. One of the reasons that I do this website and the acts of charity that I do, is in a feeble attempt to pay homage for the gift of life that I have received. I hope that one day I can do justice to honor his memory.


Every day that I wake up, I set goals for myself, to accomplish my mission. The first thing I do is give thanks to be able to live another day. The next thing is to not allow the weather or other factors, to influence my performance for this day. I anxiously anticipate what new and exciting things this day will hold for me. Will this be the day that I will impact someone’s life? Will this be the day that I am reaching a new plateau of success? What will I learn this day? Who will enrich my life?  Every day, I attempt to bring a smile to as many people, as possible and  meet a new person. My life has a new direction; I often feel that I have not lived my life to its fullest potential, in the last 40 years. Today is the day to make the changes and bring new meaning and happiness to my life and all those who I come across. This gift is too  precious to keep for myself, therefore I am more than willing to contribute to all those who want to learn these lessons, without the pain and illness.


There are many clichés such as savoring the moment, live every day like it’s your last and make every day count. Regardless, of which counter words are used, the directive is all the same. Appreciate every second of your life, and you will find a catalyst to advance and catapult you to greater heights.  When people or hardships appear in your path, your appreciation for the good things in life will help you triumph.  Appreciate your father, mother, family, friends and blessings every single day and you will always have a favorable designation placed in front of you.


One Response to Appreciation of Life

  • Evelyn says:

    I too believe that we all should appreciate at least one thing everyday. It is so easy with our busy lives, the economy, family, and all the day to day activities that we loose track of reflecting on one event. Let it be something as simple as nature. How many of us take 5 minutes to look at a flower and see its true beauty in nature, a tree the shelter it provides for so many living things. A simple thank you or “have a good day” to someone you pass by. One act of kindness can bring a smile to someone that just may need it. I feel you are honoring the person that had a heart waiting for you just by sharing as you are now can affect so many people. I have been reflecting more on how I can make someone elses life just a t least a little better. That gives me satisfaction that I am contributing something on this earth.

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German (Sal) & Milja Saldarriaga
Fort Mill, SC

I am available for lectures, consulting, life coaching, motivational speaking, interviews and appearances.

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My Life Experience

  • Retired New York City police officer
  • coping with heart disease since 1996
  • had defibrillator/pacemaker implanted in Oct 2003
  • had Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) implanted in September 2009
  • Received heart transplant September 2010.
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