A couple years ago Conan O’Brien was fired by NBC after 7 months of hosting the Tonight Show. The way they treated him was unfortunate and arguably unfair. Conan, of course, was hurt, devastated, mad, upset, the list can go on. In an age where Kanye West can cast insults upon insults after being insulted, where Miley Cyrus acts anyway she wants and struts around stating that she could care less what people think, Conan O’Brien modeled remarkable wisdom, if not counter-intuitive integrity.
When it came time to say his farewell, he stepped to the microphone and gave one of the most remarkable speeches in pop-culture history.
Little buddy I want you to watch this video of his speech. The video uses some typography that came from a project out of Oklahoma State University. Please listen carefully, take notes, and remember that your actions will define how others see you. Everyday I pray that God will guide you in your thoughts and actions, that He will bring people into your life that will set the example for you to follow so that you will grow into the man I know you will be. A man of integrity, compassion, love, devotion, faith, a man of action and not a spectator on the sidelines of life.
Many will tell you that one man cannot change the world. I tell you one man can. If each one of us wakes every morning and looks into the mirror and tells that person looking back that you can be the difference, that it all starts with you, that you can be the example, that you are the driving force that will make this world a better place. The world will change, and it starts with you.
“Integrity is not what you do when someone is watching, it’s what you do when no one is watching. And God is always watching!”
I love you little man, to the moon and back, Puppa.
Today I want to share the story of Zach Sobiech with you. Zach once said “don’t wait until your dying to start living”. I hope you will always remember that.
Zach was a 18-year-old songwriter who was diagnosed at 14 with Osteosarcoma. Battling his cancerous bone tumors, Zach turned to the power of music and his guitar to express his feelings. His music was his way for him to say good-bye to his friends and family. As it turns out, the world also listened.
Given only months to live, Zach wrote the song “Clouds” to say goodbye. His song “Clouds” spread, and soon, Zach’s message was heard across the country. The YouTube channel Soulpancake wanted to help Zach spread his message, and bring awareness to increase support for finding a cure. So, they asked their friends to help out…they did. I think you’ll enjoy this video as much as I did.
As always little buddy, I love you, Puppa
To download “clouds” and support Zach’s Osteosarcoma fund:https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/clo…
To support the Zach Sobiech osteosarcoma fund and help find a cure for childhood cancer visit: http://www.childrenscancer.org/zach
I know it has been sometime since I wrote to you on this blog, about 2 months, but believe me I have wrote a lot in my many notebooks, iPhone Apps, iPad, and the many pieces of scrap paper and napkins I grab in a hurry. It’s just been difficult to sit at the computer and type it out as we have been very busy the last few months. I have some time today so I thought I would write a few letters to you and this first one is about Great Grandma Boo.
You have been a big part of helping Great Grandma Boo in her fight with cancer. Now you may not believe that but your visits with her brightened her days and brought so much joy to her. You have shown an uncanny knack of knowing when someone is hurting and you respond with such compassion for someone so young. You melted her heart each time you would place your tiny little hands on her face and shower her with gently kisses. Unfortunately Great Grandma Boo passed away on July 31, she is now no longer in pain and is with God and Great Grandpa Buck.
Little man, Boo was Nana’s momma, and my mother in-law. The dictionary defines the term mother-in-law as – the mother of your spouse – a relative by marriage. I have never been able to use that term with Boo, she has and always will be my mom. I could write pages upon pages about Boo. How she raised 4 girls into incredible women of God, her love for her husband of 58 years, how she turned a wayward boy into a man, how she instilled love, worship, family, integrity….did I mention love?, into every child, grandchild and great grandchild in her family. I could write about how she cared for the love of her life until last June when he lost his battle with cancer. How she found out only weeks later that she too had cancer and was told she had 3 months. I could write about how she fought, prayed, loved, and held tight to her faith that in the end God has a plan. I could write about the joy, the laughter, the guidance and the love she shared with all that were blessed enough to know her. I could, I could write and write and write, but I won’t, not now. Lincoln I want to share with you what your Uncle Jesse wrote and asked me to read at Great Grandma Boo’s funeral.
Keep love in your heart….. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.-Oscar Wilde
Daughter, Sister, Mother, Aunt, Grandmother, Great Grandmother…… This is the natural progression of a Woman. It is an inevitable progression of life. But what do those titles mean? What makes you a Mother or a Grandmother? What defines you after your days have passed? What defines your legacy? Your legacy is no more than a tiny footprint in the fabric of time. Legacy is a term most often associated with men of great achievements; men of war, power, or great intellect. They leave something lasting for the people of the world. But what of the smaller footprints in the sand? Are they less important, less meaningful? What happens when the small foot prints branch off into tiny ones, and then divide again? These are the footprints of every woman that has strode side by side with her husband, best friend and partner. Their lives so intertwined that often the tracks are indistinguishable from one another.
There is a common quote we hear….. “Behind every great man there is a great women”; unfortunately this is terribly inaccurate. As any couple can profess there are many times there is a single set of tracks to follow. Those are the instances that a woman must step forward and carry her partner through a moment of weakness. The only time she may falter or fall behind are deviations she must take in order to look after her own daughters, or grandchildren. She is the mother, she must not let harm befall her flock. She is the torchbearer, a rallying point, a light in the darkness for her offspring. This is no easy task as any matriarch can attest to, all throughout the cycle of life it is the matriarch that is the binding glue that holds the family group together. While the men fight their fights, harvest their crops, and dream of glory the mother is left holding the end of each delicate string, weaving them into a family tapestry.
Mom was the matriarch of her pride, a proud family. Every person sitting here today has been shadowed by her tracks in the sand. She was the driving force behind a much loved patriarch. Often times she was the quiet force without the mane; but when needed a fierce protector of her family or the gentle guiding hand for a daughter or grandchild. We know that there was nothing in her life more important than her pride,….. her family. No one knows a mother’s love like her own offspring, and each one of those cubs have grown and guide a pride of their own. Sometimes the love is shadowed in a harsh hard or a hard lesson. But inside you know that the matriarch is doing her best to guide you to the path in the sand so you may leave your own prints, branching off ever more; but forever alongside your husband, partner and best friend, as she did.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God upon every remembrance of you. ~Philippians 1:2-3
Lincoln I pray that God blesses you each and every day, I love you little man, Puppa
I thought today I would share some more poetry with you. The poem I want to share with you is by Max Ehrmann. Max Ehrmann was born in Terre Haute, Indiana on September 16, 1872 to German immigrant parents. In 1894 he graduated from DePauw University in Greencastle. Later Ehrmann studied law and philosophy at Harvard University. He returned to Terre Haute where he practiced law. When he began writing, he devoted every day to his work. Ehrmann wrote many poems, but his most famous poems are ‘Desiderata’ (1927) and ‘A Prayer (1906)’.
“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love – for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment is it perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you from misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.”
― Max Ehrmann, Desiderata: A Poem for a Way of Life
Lincoln, today the world was beautiful because you and I spent the early morning at the beach. You are no doubt, your momma’s boy, fearlessly playing in the water, always looking for the next thrill that sends you laughing hysterically. Yes Lincoln, today the world was beautiful because we were together enjoying the moment, and setting worries aside.
I love you to the moon and back little man, Puppa
I want to share a story with you that I just read. I share this with you because as you grow up you will see that more often than not the news likes to report what I call “bad news” not “good news”. Our society has seems to enjoy reading about everyone’s pain a lot more than someone’s joy. And there is a lot of joy out there little man and we should rejoice in it when we hear about it.
This story is about a young girl named Maddie and a young boy named Jon. Jon is a junior and he has autism. About a month ago, Maddie, a senior, approached Jon’s father (Jon’s father is a teacher at their school) and asked if Jon’s mom and he would allow her to take him to prom. Maddie had gotten to know Jon through a school club that promotes friendships between special needs kids and regular kids. “He’s a junior,” she explained “so it’s his prom too. I just think he should have the chance to go.” Jon’s father told her that they would be honored to have him go with her.
During the next couple weeks, she asked what his favorite color was (orange) so she could get a dress in that color. She also made reservations for their group (they doubled with another couple)at a restaurant that served his favorite food – chicken fingers and French fries. They both had a wonderful time.
I share this with you for three reasons:
1. That you should always show support for special kids like Jon
2. That you should show support for groups that promote these friendships
3. To remind us all, in a time when we hear about all the terrible things going on, that there are wonderful kids like Maddie working to make other’s lives better.
Little man you are only 20 months old but have already shown such compassion towards others that are sad or hurting, and towards all animals. I know that with your momma’s guidance and love you will not lose that like so many do as they grow up.
I tell you from experience that to make a difference in someones life is one of the greatest things one can do.
“Prayer in action is love, and love in action is service. Try to give unconditionally whatever a person needs in the moment. The point is to do something, however small, and show you care through your actions by giving your time … We are all God’s children so it is important to share His gifts. Do not worry about why problems exist in the world – just respond to people’s needs … We feel what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean, but that ocean would be less without that drop.“- Mother Teresa
God has a plan for your life little man, and that includes loving and serving others.
I love you Lincoln, Puppa