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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

20 Years -- Time Flies By

Twenty years tomorrow.  I know I'm getting old because I find myself saying, "Wow, time sure flies by" frequently.  That's a sure-fire way to know you're gettin' up there. 

My father passed away twenty years ago tomorrow.....on March 19, 1994.  You know those things in your life that seem as alive and fresh today as they were in your distant past?    This is one of them.  The struggle, the decisions, the horribleness of Lou Gehrig's Disease.  And learned lessons.  He was most certainly one of a kind in many respects.  He was uneducated and didn't graduate high school.  He worked for more than twenty years without taking a single sick day.  His life was shaped by his love for the mountains of Idaho and by a fairly rough and sort of small-town way about him.  He didn't demand money, jewelry, stocks, fame or fortune.  He knew none of that.  But he loved.  He loved everyone and would do anything necessary to make someone else's life an easier place to be.  He gave of himself at home, work, church and anywhere else that he spotted a need.  To a fault sometimes.  He loved his family and being around kids brought an instant spark to his face.  And he never knew me as a gay man.  And he never made it past 62 years of age.  I could go on and on.  But I'd rather you spent a few minutes reading about his life.  I promise you inspiration from the words that I bring to you.  Take the time if you would.  Learn something today from the pages of this man's life.  Oh and one more thing, he was kind.  People tell me from time to time that I'm a lot like him.  And perhaps I am in some respects.  But I know myself better than anyone.  And I can assure you that I have a long way to go on the journey.  I am frequently reminded of the impact he made on others.  I'm still working on it.  (Read the series below in order.) 

Part 1 -- Impact of Childhood Lessons -- "He took us camping nearly every weekend all summer long. We had nothing fancy like a trailer. But we had a huge old sheepherder’s tent."

Part 2 -- It's a Great Day -- "I told him how much I loved him and what a good time I was having on my concert tour. I told him that I missed him. And, of course, I said “Happy Birthday.” All I could hear was his grunting….trying his best to formulate a word or two. But, it didn’t happen….ever again."

Part 3 -- Finale, The Curtain Must Close --  "My heart was broken already, I knew what message was waiting."

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