Sunday, December 18, 2011

This week's Pep Talk: "Two Men Named Mac"

It was a Saturday Centennial State day eight days before Christmas; everybody on the planet is talking Tebow in the buildup to the Broncos and Patriots and I’m doing laundry. While the cat snores beside me, a few thoughts crashed into the cranium, including:

My wonderful father. Most folks who knew the personable and trustworthy dude called him “Mac.” What sparked remembrance of a golfing buddy who passed back in 2007, was a conversation with another guy most know as “Mac.” That would be Bill McCartney.

Coach Mac and I have known each other a long time and we’re hitting the road to speak to groups about life and leadership. Yeah, as he likes to say, “The righty with the high hard one and the lefty with the off speed - off beat? - stuff.” Yeah, we’re a team. He’s the coach, I’m the quarterback. Which is appropriate. Anyway, we had just wrapped up a productive phone call that ended because he and his darling wife Lyndi were hustling to their grandson’s basketball game. After hanging up the phone, I paused and gave thanks for Coach Mac. For whatever reason, that joy shifted my spirit to Marvin Walter McIntosh, Jr., my old man.

They have each been wonderful mentors. In fact, when I was going through my first painful divorce years ago, these two men were in the fox hole with me. Marv Mac, who lived in Kansas City, would call weekly and visit often. Meanwhile Coach Mac, then leading the University of Colorado football program, would write often. Each was always encouraging me to overcome adversity. As I like to joke, “turn life’s lemons - heck with lemonade - sweet and savory margaritas.” Somebody wrote a book with that silly title, right?

Back to the point. I’ve always been a big fan of “spirit” and its power. Whether it’s been a team, person, organization and other stuff, my opinion, we’re usually attracted to others because of a similar spirit, right? Well, I’m a damn lucky dude to have Marv Mac and Coach Mac as mentors. They have similar spirits and they inspire me.

To me it’s a great example of someone’s spirit, Marv Mac’s, being alive and well through another, Coach Mac. Hey, it’s just my opinion, but I think it’s pretty cool. The experience, did make me think of my father and brought tears to my eyes. The beautiful part is they were tears of joy. Never a bad thing to have show up every once in a while, right? I hope, in the craziness that is the holiday season, joy’s showing up for you too. For those where that just ain’t possible, for a variety of reasons, a quick prayer: “May you find strength from above, below, within or wherever to hang in there and believe better days lie ahead. Cling like heck to hope!”

As we scurry about looking for the special gift for someone this holiday season, how about this? Let’s call, or write a hand-written note, folks who showed us how to cling to hope in the challenging times and give them thanks and praise.

Two men named Mac took me to thanks and praise. It’s a good spot to dwell. One I hope you find as well this busy time of year. Blessings.

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