You can't help but to feel a sense of hope and thankfulness after one conversation with Dwight Owens. He is the author of a newly released book called "Still Standing", and he is a survivor or a drunk driving accident.
The accident left him permanently paralyzed, but he will be quick to tell you he can do anything anyone else does. He just does sitting down.
"I wake up every morning with tremendous joy,"said Owens.
That sums up the attitude of Dwight Owens, and it's surprising, considering the unfortunate events of his past that could have easily turned his joy into something else.
"In the sixth grade I witnessed my dad killed. My mom ended up having a nervous break down. When I was in high school I had a classmate, great friend of mine that was drinking and he ended up lying down in the middle of the highway and an on coming car came and smashed his head," said Owens.
Owens says the incidents involving his family made him stronger, losing his friend due to drinking detoured Owens away from alcohol. But it was alcohol which would play a part in changing his life forever.
"In 2005, I was hit by a drunk driver on my way to school. I was a teacher football coach, and the drunk driver knocked me off the highway. I coded immediately," said Owens.
Owens was 23 when he was hit by a 72-year-old drunk driver. Owens says he literally died on Highway 84 that day.
"During that time, after the coding I saw my dad for the first time and it was real extremely real. There was a light and he was talking to me. There were a lot of memories. He was telling me that everything was going to be ok, but before I made it to the light he lift to go into the light. Before I made it to the light, I woke up in the hospital and I over heard doctors say we have him back," said Owens.
Owens was alive , but he says there was still a chance he wouldn't make it. He says he began writing notes to loved ones.
"I wanted my family to be able to read those notes if the lord did call me home, so they would be able to transition easier. Eventually those notes turned into a book," said Owens.
"Still Standing" is the product of Owens traumatic accident, but it doesn't focus on that day, or the painful year long recovery.
"It is just going to give some inspiration to people that you know you not on your own. There are people that have been through tragedies, been through certain things. So you can be inspired to pull through,"said Owens.
Owens starting spreading his message to people long before his book. He says his message of encouragement has reached national attention.
"I received a nation award in 2010. A Spirit of Service award from the corporation of National and Volunteer Service. I received the Cabot Creamery award which was given to great volunteers from around the nation," said Owens.
Owens says he doesn't speak to crowds for publicity, he just wants people to feel the joys he feels everyday.