Sunday, September 25, 2011

This week's Pep Talk: "Seize Another Day"

It was a beautiful Friday summer evening in the Mile High City. I can hear my wonderful alley neighbors bonding as family in their backyard. I’m sitting on Poor Man’s Porch with cold beer, Rockies’ radio and cat lurking as thoughts turn to others.

Specifically, two incredible human beings, who at time of writing this, had, either, tragically died from a brain aneurysm or was clinging to life after an inspiring six-year fight against brain cancer. Warriors in this condition, my opinion, called life. Dudes who former University of Colorado head football coach Bill McCartney would call, “fox hole kinda guys.”

I think of these men’s families and the grief witnessed: these men will be sorely missed for good reason considering how, powered by faith, they honored, nurtured and added value to each community touched. Guys who I considered, “brothers from another mother.”

For the one kindred spirit clinging to life at this moment, we had a team meeting at his bedside. Many prayers for God’s will be done poured from the souls of those gathered around this hilarious man. Who, in the midst of dying, would joke at Friday morning’s fellowship, “I’ve had more issues than TIME Magazine.”

I’m among the gathered and, inspired by the other prayers, offer: “Hey buddy, without a miracle - and they do happen - you will never physically be present at Platoon, but I promise you buddy, we’re gonna do our best to keep your spirit alive.”

I can guarantee you that’s what loved ones who leave too early would expect - keep their spirit alive! What does that spirit look like? Well, how about what Peter wrote of in Galatians when speaking of a spirit demonstrating love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Those nine fruits certainly describe Doug and Mark, I miss them already.

I would suspect, but I’m just a simple dude from Missouri, that most of us - not everybody - have similar folks in our lives. Family, friends and others who really show us the way to, as I like to suggest whenever given the chance, play like a champion. Great mentors - past and present - who love us, believe in us and support our healthy and productive goals. We’re touched by their spirits, and it’s good.

The question becomes, as life unexpectedly kicks us in the teeth and we’re wondering, “What the heck is going on here?”, will we remember the spirit of those who show the way? Will we, when life throws us a lemon, dust ourselves off, continue the journey and seize another day of trying to transform lemons - heck with lemonade - into sweet and savory margaritas? I hope this week, the answer is a resounding “You bet.”

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