“Grief never ends… But it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith. It is the price of love.”
This was the last round of golf Paul and I ever played together. One day earlier we witnessed the eclipse in Madras, OR. When I look at this picture I wonder what he was thinking. He knew his cancer had returned. His mind must have been racing. It is hard to imagine the weight of uncertainty.
Another year has passed, four now since our friend slipped away from us. There are not many words left to fully express how much Paul is missed. He was missed deeply at Bradley and Jessie’s wedding last July. He would have been elated for the bride and groom and he would have been proud, very proud. Paul would have grieved with Lee and his family after the sudden passing of Beth. He would have been a comfort to them all. It’s just not the same without his laugh and kind voice.
Paul moved through life will all of its ups and downs. Regardless of what was happening in his own life he never failed to be kind to friends and strangers. Don’t get me wrong, he was not perfect, who is? He was intentional in his kindness and in his gratitude. Our world could use a whole lot more of his intentionality today.
Each one of us has the opportunity today to pass along a kindness and perhaps it will bring Paul back for just a moment. He would have liked knowing this is how we remember him. He would have loved it. Imagine how different our world could be.
I’m not sure how I found Joel Wentz while rummaging around the internet but I can say I’m glad I did. He recently did a series of 4 short videos on Critical Race Theory well worth anyone’s time who wants to look at the subject which we all should regardless of your current thoughts on the subject.
In addition to these videos he also does book reviews and touches on other subjects. His presentation is organized and Joel does not talk over your head. In short he is a great communicator. I hope you will take time to check him out. HisYouTube series is called Books & Big Ideas. Enjoy! You can also follow Joel on Twitter @JoeltheValient – Let me know what you think.
Everyone has a Mother and everyone knows a Mother. More than 100 Billion humans have been born in the world’s history. It still takes nine months and it still takes years before the child is able to survive without assistance. The world has changed greatly but motherhood has stayed the same.
It is a good day to reflect. My kids have a Mom who worked hard to get it right. My three grandkids have two awesome Moms. Proud of them all and all they do.
Paul loved his friends and loved being with them. He loved playing golf and eating with them. Paul’s friends loved him and he made us feel a bit better when we were with him or simply hearing his voice on a phone call. Knowing he had great friends takes a little of the edge off from the hurt of missing him. His smile was genuine and his laugh infectious, you could hear it from many rooms away.
Some of these pictures were taken at TPC Sawgrass in Florida. Paul loved this trip to play in a tournament benefiting The Fellowship of Christian Athletes. This year The Players Championship, played at TPC Sawgrass, ends on Sunday March 14, the three year anniversary of Paul’s passing. I am reminded of how much he enjoyed being with people he loved.
Enjoy the pictures and the reminder of his smile. I can hear his laugh just looking at these. If you have photos you would like to share please sent them to me and I will add them. Jdougmar@gmail.com
When I was young the day after Christmas was a downer of a day. It meant the thrill of the season was far away. Right after Thanksgiving I entered into the start of three separate seasons. The first was the short time from Thanksgiving to the first day of December and the beginning of Advent, the start of the Christmas Season. Then there was the twenty four days leading up to Christmas Day ending on Christmas Eve. And finally there was Christmas Day and in just twenty four hours it was all over.
I anticipated Christmas more than any other day of the year, even more than I anticipated my birthday. Every birthday you have represents change and moving on. Christmas is about renewal.
Anticipation is a complicated feeling/emotion. Anticipation can get you into trouble because it can be the cause of great disappointment. It can also get you into trouble because it causes anxiety. The anticipation of Christmas for me has largely been positive.
One of my favorite records growing up in New York City was A Christmas Carol. As you can see from the cover it was Narrated by Basil Rathbone. I just about wore the record out and one day the record was lying on my bed out of its cover and brother Scott caught the edge of it when he was swinging his belt buckle and a little piece broke off. I was devastated and I missed listening to it.
Those who know me know this is one of my favorite stories.
Years later in my late 50’s I received a large envelope in the mail from my cousin Paul Thompson. In it was the record. Somehow he had found it online, purchased and sent it to me. I don’t know when I even told him the story of the broken record. Looking at the cover brought back wonderful memories. It looked like the outside envelope had not been “handled with care” and when I pulled the record from the sleeve it had a piece missing in just about the same place and shape as the one which been broken in the late 1960’s. I never got to listen to this record because it too was damaged but I was always amazed Paul remembered the story and found it for me. I doubt he knew it was the same version from my childhood when he purchased it.
In Seth Godin’s new book “The Practice – Shipping Creative Work” he has a section called Generous with 45 short chapters. Seth has long written and spoken about doing generous work. There is something about “generous” which demands some study and attention. You can be generous with your time and money and you can generously listen and try to understand what someone needs.
If you want to make a change in the world and I hope everyone does you first need to be generous. What problem do you want to solve? What changes are you trying to make? It seems to me very few great things are done where someone asks for payment in advance. This is being generous. If you are looking to change the world you might find the best way to accomplish this is to share an idea with someone else. It does put you in a position of vulnerability. The person might take the idea and run off with it. But keeping the idea to yourself might be selfish.
Make something to help improve someone or something. Then generously share it. You will get paid but there is risk.
My Mom Nancy Marshall created and gave gifts to her Mother and Mother in Law Christmas of 1966. Her Mom was Marion Irene Hodges (Duffet – Maiden name) and Martha Lilian Marshall (Veall – Maiden Name) was my Dad’s Mom. Dad’s Mom went by her middle name Lilian. They were two personalized collages. Thought the family might enjoy a look at these while they are still around.
You will notice a predominant New England here.
This was soon after my grandfather died. They had moved from Marblehead to Harwich on Cape Cod when Grampy retired a couple years earlier.
After the Veall sisters sailed over from England in the 1920’s, if I remember correctly, she settled in Toronto.
My only Aunt, Anne Thompson has compiles quite a bit of Marshall and Veall history and has gifted this work to her children.
Because it is not easy to see all the detail I added some close ups in a slideshow format.