On Thanksgiving, many families gather at one family member’s house. Everyone brings a dish to share, and eventually they sit down and enjoy the meal. Being with family on Thanksgiving is important to many people.

Typically, during that Thanksgiving feast, everyone mentions what they are grateful for. Younger kids say, “I’m thankful for my family, my friends, my dog, my toys…” 

Teenagers say, “I’m thankful for my family, my friends, my cell phone…” 

Adults say, “I’m thankful for my family, my job, my kids…”

Everyone seems to say that they are thankful for family, but with that being said, do we really know what it means to be thankful for our family?

Recently I was caught speeding and I earned a speeding ticket. As a requirement for court, I had to attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving panel. At first, I thought of it as a punishment and was not happy about having to go. 

This panel changed my perspective on that. The speaker’s name is Josh Jahn whose wife Mandy and two children, Ryan and Kaitlyn, were selfishly taken from him by a drunk driver. 

On November 6, 2008, Josh had just returned home from work and was waiting for his wife and children to arrive home when an accident report came across his fire department radio. The accident was on the same road that his wife and children were supposed to be taking home. 

He called his wife to check on her and there was no answer. He decided to head toward the accident only for his life to change forever. 

A drunk driver had failed to stop at a stop sign and collided with the Jahn’s car, ejecting the children from the car despite them being in car seats. 

Mandy was pronounced dead at the scene and Ryan and Kaitlyn were pronounced dead at the hospital.

Josh Jahn tells this story with pain and power. He shares his family’s story in hopes of saving others’ lives. 

Driving under the influence is a selfish, selfish thing that should never even come across a person’s mind, but it does. Others then suffer from that horrible decision. 

When we say that we are thankful for family it should have a different meaning, because Josh Jahn no longer has his family. 

During this holiday season, do not drive after drinking. Someone else will thank you for it. 

Also, I’d like to thank Josh Jahn for introducing me to his wife and children through his amazingly impactful story. I hope that everyone else can take something away from this like I did. 

For more information on the Jahn Family, visit joshuajahn.com

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and remember to be thankful for your family.