Would you want to know when and how?

This week, I learned that a long-time friend was diagnosed with liver cancer and given three weeks to live. Now, he is in his eighties and has lived a great life. He has children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He was a reknowned professor at Miami University and made such a positive impact in so many lives.

Two weeks ago, a great friend’s father-in-law had a sudden heart attack and passed away. These two scenarios raise the question ( as debbie-downer as it may sound), would you prefer to know when and how you are going to die, or it’s a complete surprise. Does it even matter, it’s not like we are given the choice anyway. …

Since I am married, I believe I would want to know when I am going to pass, so I can say goodbye to family and friends.  Morrie Schwartz brought up that point in the famous book Tuesdays with Morrie.  I think having the opportunity to say goodbye gives the opportunity for some closure.  My wife and I have had situations when we did not get to say goodbye, and it bothers us tremendously.

If you did know when, would it change how you view the present and the future?  Would love to hear your comments and reasoning.  Take care.

 

-Ron

So glad it’s so, Joe!

“Say it ain’t so, Joe” is a well-known saying from a young boy to Shoeless Joe Jackson walking out of court after admitting to have thrown the World Series.  My Joe story is different, and I am glad for it!

I was pleasantly surprised today to get a call from a former student named Joe, who graduated a few years ago.  He had been a wonderful student employee, fun to be around, and always willing to serve others.

My greatest connection to Joe came during a difficult time in my own life.  Jen’s father had suddenly passed away.  We needed someone to watch our house on short notice and take care of our two labs Woody and Lucy during the week it would take to travel to northeast Ohio and mourn.  Joe was so gracious in answering my call for help and did a wonderful job while we were gone.  His willingness to assist in a great time of need is something that I can never repay.

As the academic year drew to a close, I was able to provide references for Joe to prospective employers.  He eventually got a job and I knew he had a bright future.  As so often happens, we had some contact, but didn’t much from each other for long periods of time.

Joe’s voice mail this morning indicated that he was looking for new employment opportunities, and he wanted to check if it was okay to still use me as a reference.  I called him intending to tell him that was fine.  Come to think of it, I don’t think we ever spoke about this in the next hour and a half.

Our conversation was a collage of challenges, states of mind, our successes, and our efforts to find peace.  Joe shared that he was reaching for a dream to become a professional golfer.  He is working with a transformational golf coach who is teaching more than how to swing a club.  As Joe was making analogies between golf and life, I kept thinking that he needs to write this material down, write a book, and developing a speaking platform.  Joe has such clarity in his thinking and purpose in his life that he is developing a message that needs to be shared with others.  His message of dealing with adversity and growing into the person that he is today will resonate with others.

As we shared our stories, we inspired each other to keep pursuing our hopes and dreams.  We have pledged to talk once/week in the early morning and keep each other moving forward.

I have a feeling this phone conversation was a game-changer.  Most importantly, renewing and strengthening our connection will help us serve each other and others.

I would love to hear reader stories about renewed connections and relationships.  Let’s inspire each other!

 

Super Dad for a 3-Day Weekend

photo (20)

They survived the weekend without their mama!

With Jen leading a whitewater rafting trip to OhioPyle, Pennsylvania this past weekend, I had the chance to be the lone parent for Ryan and Sawyer this weekend.  What a treat!

On Friday, Jen left for her trip.  After breakfast and naps, we walked to uptown Oxford.  A main attraction are water fountains, which always have youngsters splashing around on warm days.  This day was no exception, as Ryan made fast friends with the two girls and one boy playing around.  The challenge is always getting him to stop so we can leave.  I tried to put Sawyer by the water, but he made it perfectly clear that he was not interested.  We completed the four mile walk back to the house for lunch and afternoon naps.  Daddy was able to catch some z’s as well.  Turns out, we had taken advantage of the best weather of the day, as we had spot-up storms throughout the remainder of the day.  We played inside and cleaned the house up.

Saturday was packed with fun stuff!  Breakfast>Farmer’s Market>Water Fountains>Lunch>Hannah Wachenheim’s (yay!) Graduation Party (Daddy only, boys were napping and had a sitter)>wedding with former Miami Rec Center staff Lynsey Sheets (now Lynsey Pun).

The wedding was a great time, but we had to get home for bed right after supper.  It was too bad, Ryan was already starting to dance and looked like he was really having a nice time.  I get such a kick when former students invite you to major events in their lives, it really validates for me our mission of student development.

Sunday was calmer.  We got some yardwork and laundry done.  We also made a stop to the Rec Center to play basketball for a little while before afternoon naps.  Jen was home before naps were over.

Don’t get me wrong…..I would rather both of us are there with the boys.  It is an awesome feeling to know you are solely responsible for their experiences and care.  I treasured the around-the-clock time I got to spend with them.  Ryan continues to amaze me with his vocabulary and the development of his personality.  Boy, is he stubborn at times!  He loves to help with chores though, which is pretty neat.  Sawyer sat up in his crib from laying down, which is a great milestone as he gets closer to crawling.  He smiled all weekend long and just lights you up with that big cheeked grin.

Favorite Ryan quote of the weekend…”look at the girls!”.  (reference to the wedding party and bride).  Attaboy!

Favorite quote involving Sawyer….who was sucking on the bride Lynsey’s shoulder….”you can’t give me a hickey Sawyer, I am a married woman now”