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The most valuable gift It only takes a few seconds to realize how under-appreciated the gift of life really is I can still remember the exact moment in which I began to understand that life is the most valuable gift that I have ever been given Never again since that moment have I forgotten how quickly that gift can be taken away A few seconds earlier or later a few inches left or right or maybe just a little less luck could have changed what turned out to be a life-altering experience into a life-ending disaster It was July 21 1999 and it was a seasonably warm summer day in the small town Ettlingen Germany Nothing led me to believe it would be anything other than a normal day except for the fact that it happened to be my favorite cousins birthday I was on my way to the store to finish up some last minute arrangements in preparation for a small surprise party that we would be throwing later There was one more stop and I would be heading home to get ready for cake and ice cream with friends and family By the looks of things there were not many people out and there were very few cars moving around town Other than the cars parked along the sides of the road it was as if I had the roads to myself I had been driving for a little over five months and I had taken these same roads countless numbers of times without incident I was about to find out though that this time would be different As I was driving along with the top of my moms wrangler jeep partially off and the radio playing I noticed a car coming in the other direction I was approaching the intersection of a small side street as the oncoming car slowed to turn Whether the driver did not see me whether his
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