Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Merry Christmas!!

A long time ago I heard it said that you are most like the 10 people you are closest to. I decided then to try to surround myself with people who had qualities I admired, people who inspire me, encourage me, love me and challenge me to be the best person I can be. I met Mark Pace about 7 years ago and he is one of those people. He is an incredible person and I am blessed to know him. I received this letter from Mark today and I asked him if I could share it with you. May you surround yourself with people who love you, inspire you, encourage you and challenge you to be the best you can be in the year 2007. And as we celebrate the Christmas holiday, may you ponder and appreciate the significance of Christ's birth, death and resurrection. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Allison, John and John David

Hello to all my wonderful friends and family:

First, I would like to say I hope everyone is having a great holiday as we bring 2006 to a close. The reason for this letter is to say thank you for being a part of my life, past and present. I'll speak to you first from the 17 year, 4 month, and 20 day old Mark Ashley Pace's life. During this part of my life, I woke up everyday with perfect sight, perfect hearing and a whole lot of things going on in my life. I was driving my jeep, a vehicle I had always dreamed of having since a kid starts thinking about stuff like that, I have a great family, I was a pretty accomplished athlete, a ton of friends, believed in Jesus as my savior, and felt like a pretty good caring person. This Mark had a lot of dreams that were all changed on December 20, 1986.

Next, I will let everyone know that today marks the 20 year anniversary of my accident where I flipped my jeep and sustained some pretty severe damage to my noggin. Consequently, I was left with low vision, hearing, and some pretty drastic life altering injuries. One thing that was not altered is my positive optimistic attitude. I have been told that I'm supposed to feel sorry for myself, be depressed, angry, but I think God must have removed that part of my brain in the accident. Mark Ashley Pace is celebrating my 20th birthday of my new life. It's hard to believe that it's already been 20 years, but I have a lot of you to thank for being there for me through thick and thin. As many of you know a part of my brain that God did not remove was my stubborn independence. Its pretty interesting that I need more help then I will ask for, because I would much rather help someone else out physically, spiritually, emotionally, or just lend somebody a shoulder to cry on. Bottom line, I would much rather help someone then ask for help.

Finally, I will continue to celebrate each day of my new life, and I hope that all of your dreams for the New Year come true. We all need to remember that God has given each one of us a story to tell about our time on earth. Each one of you will be remembered as a big part of shaping the person I, Mark Ashley Pace, is today. Please do me a favor this holiday season and say a little prayer to thank God for everything you have and for protecting you each day, protecting your family, and allowing you to live a comfortable life. I'll be the first to tell you that I never thanked God for my sight, my hearing, and other senses that so many of us take for granted. Please be very careful and have a wonderful holiday season. Thanks again for being a part of my life and remember that I love all of you very much.


Mark Ashley Pace

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