14 December 2013

Not everyone is so lucky...

(My friend, Nashville publicist Paula Erickson, has written more guest blogs this past year than anyone else. When she heard about my father's death, I asked if she would mind writing one more since there will be a number of days coming up where I'll be traveling or occupied with laying my father to rest. She wrote this lovely post that ties in my dad and is a reminder that many people aren't nearly as lucky as my sister and I were. - Melinda)

I am getting to the place in life where many of my friends are losing their parents. It seems that, lately, not a month goes by when I don’t hear of a friend or a colleague suffering what must be a devastating loss. I have amazing parents, and I am blessed to still have both of them – Gene and Peggy are both happy, active and healthy…thank heavens. My heart goes out to so many who have lost somebody very special -- this week, it is our friend and colleague Melinda, whose father Walter, was mentioned in this blog many times.

I never met Mr. Newman, but from reading Melinda’s posts, I feel as though I knew him. I know he was (among many things) a proud veteran (he served in both the US National Guard and the UK RAF); a great friend, husband and family man; a world traveler; a Wal-Mart shopper (to Melinda’s chagrin); an avid poker enthusiast; and an incredible dad.

I do always try to think of the positive in every situation, and in this case it is that most of us have been blessed with parents we love and we have had many wonderful years to enjoy them and will have a lifetime of amazing memories. That is a special gift, indeed. If you are lucky enough to still have one or both parents, please treasure the time you have with them.

Sadly, there are millions of children who grow up without one or both parents. For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. As the nation’s largest volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers and children in communities across the country. They develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. 

-Paula Erickson

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