Make a Difference

2x2 blogI’m not very good at send offs, I would imagine that most people have some hurdle to climb with saying goodbye to a friend, even if it’s just for now.  Today was a home-going ceremony and it was special.  Those moments typically take my mind on a roller coaster ride, not just about the person I’m there to celebrate, but ultimately for my own family.

The young man I was there to celebrate is only a few years younger than I am.  I met him through his mom, Martie.  She and I worked together a hundred years ago in radio and that’s where I was introduced to Skyler.  He was diagnosed with cancer over a year ago and given only two months to make it, he made it thirteen months instead. 

What was so impressive about Skyler was his attitude, it was surprisingly upbeat despite the dire prediction of his situation.  That light-in-spite-of-the-circumstances quality was apparently contagious, others repeatedly made mention of that today.   He’s human, so like all of us I’m sure he made some mistakes along the way – I’ve made plenty.  But in the end it’s not the mistakes that matter, it’s what you fight for that counts.  I learned that he was willing to do anything to get close to his sons and that includes moving so that he was only a half mile away.  I have tremendous respect for that approach. 

I’m always left with a recurring question that keeps tapping me on the shoulder with every one of those home-going celebrations, “how much time do I have?”  There is no answer to that question of course.  However, today I learned that instead of two months, Skyler was blessed with a thirteen month journey which he then brilliantly turned into just enough time to make a difference – and that’s saying something.  

Thanks for reading my blog my friend, make today count.


This entry was posted in Personal Leadership, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Make a Difference

  1. Susie Kangas says:

    Thank you so much for your awesome words. They were really inspiring words and if they inspire one person to make a change, then you did good! Thank you Greg!

  2. Greg Gaines says:

    Thanks for being here Susie!

  3. Vicki Farmer Manges says:

    Greg, just a few words as I sit and reflect on the almost seven years now that our Dad had his own home going.
    We had Dad 18 months after he was diagnosed with Multiple Myaloma. It was such a special time as we were able to talk about anything and nothing, share stories, ask him questions but most of all be there for him and Mom during that difficult time. They were married 59 years, had the three of us, me being the oldest, my sister next and our neither. Dad got to meet and love on the last great grandson born at that time, named after Dad, William Tucker, Dad was William Joe.
    During those short, fast months we all camped out at their home in the room with him and his hospital bed and Mom on a small bed in the same room and when he could no longer take the pain he asked to go on to the Hospice Center in Jacksonville, off of Ramona Blvd. They were good to us there as we camped out in his room, taking turns doing the one and only thing he asked if us. You see Dad was much of a man, could handle most anything, he could handle pain without taking a lot of meds. To see our Dad folks would tell us he did not even look sick, I think even Mom thought he could beat the cancer like he was so able to fix and repair so much in the days past.
    Dad new where he was going, he had planned that a good number of years earlier, he was always a planner of all his things, even having us take him to the cemetery with Mom in order for her to say which plot she wanted when it is her time as he would take the other. He loved our Mom dearly. She is now 84, misses him dearly everyday as we all do.
    After Dad knew he would only be here until the Lord was ready for him, he was not afraid to go, just did not want to leave us.
    As Dad’s journey for closer to the end, the only thing he ever asked of us was would we just hold his hand. We were all so touched by this as I could remember all the times he and Mom have held out hands as children, of course we were honored to do this one last thing for “OurDad”. We did this through the day, and into the night, even after he did not respond to any one or anything. He lasted 11 days in Hospice Care, we took turns holding his hands just as he wished, and proud to do that last one wish for him.
    We loved our Dad, he was the backbone of our family. We never know when we might be asked to do a last request for a loved one.
    There is a song about it is not the time of our birth or the time of our death that matters but the dash between the two that is important.
    Thank you for making a difference for so many.
    God Bless, my friend.
    Vicki Farmer Manges
    Klynt & Kati’s Mom

  4. Jo-z Wilder says:

    Beautiful and very true

  5. Angela Barksdale says:

    Touching words!
    Greg you seem to live your life to the fullest, enjoying the beauty God has created in the earth and touching lives along the way. Like Skyler continue to shine your light.

  6. Greg Gaines says:

    Thanks Jo-z

  7. Greg Gaines says:

    Thanks for sharing Vicki

  8. Greg Gaines says:

    Thanks Angela, you are appreciated!

  9. Emma J. says:

    I So Deeply Understand This. “This Was A Heart Felt Write”….I Remember Doctors Saying to Me That There Was Nothing Else They Could do other Than Go Back in My Body ( Surgery) and See Where They Went Wrong as Though I was Some type of Machine! I said No and That It was No Longer Their Problem, it Was Between Me AND God….The Next Day….My Fever Broke and All was Well…They Couldn’t figure it Out….This Is Me Over 20 Years Later asking God For A 104 Years….for Me T o spread The News and Shine the light on Faith…Thanks Greg, You Always Have Inspiring Messages …As For That Young Courages Man, May He Rest Peacefully ♡

  10. Greg Gaines says:

    Thanks for both the comment and your being here Emma!