Friday, June 22, 2012

Being My Sammy-est

The news came, as such much of my news does these days, on my Facebook wall. “You will be missed Sammy- RIP”. Never having met him, I would probably not have thought about the post, had another friend not soon-after mentioned Sammy in his status. Then a third friend posted and mentioned Sammy's ever-present smile. Intrigued, I decided I had to know more about this man who had touched so many lives.

This is some of what I heard:

“He was one of the most selfless men I knew.”

“When I was raising money for a trip for kids, while many hesitated to share their connections, he was first to make the calls for me, hooking me up with donors and freebies for these kids.”

“He was one of those behind the scenes guys. “

I could go on, but I think you can see the theme that emerged. I found myself regretting that I had never known Sammy, and that, now, due to his untimely passing, I would never get that chance. More than that, I realized how much all of us can use a guy like Sammy in our lives.

As I shared the information that I would be changing careers and starting a charity running program for Just One Life, there were many well wishers. Of those, some made offers to help. I was touched by the outpouring of kindness that I received from friends, family and acquaintances alike. Still, I was, at times, unsure who I could approach and for what. A precious few sensed this hesitancy and made very specific offers to help. Personally, I suspect that I would not have been the Sammy, offering not just an encouraging smile, but also giving of my myself personally in any way possible.

Then it hit me. Although I will never get to actually know Sammy, I can learn from his all too short life, and try, in some small way to be like Sammy. To try and be the kind of friend to others, that I am looking for in my own life. To give of myself, without worrying about what's in it for me. To do for others in a quiet, but real way.

May his memory be a blessing.

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Donning My Hardhat

On my drive home from work, I pass by the construction site for The Freedom Tower, the massive skyscraper that is being built on the site of The World Trade Center. I have watched it grow from a small non-descript building into a massive 1776 foot tall tower, standing high above New York’s skyline. I have always had a fascination with construction sites and this one has gotten me thinking as well.

I have no doubt that the finished tower will be a site to behold. No doubt, there will be a ceremony as people gather to celebrate the finished product. I wonder how many of the dignitaries who gather for the occasion, will recognize all of the work put in by the architects, construction workers and others, to get the building standing.

In the past, I have attended many race weekends with every detail carefully choreographed. I must admit that I never gave much thought to all the hard work that went into making it happen. I simply took for granted that I would get there and that everything would just happen.

As I build Team Just One Life into what I hope will be an amazing experience, I am learning all that it takes to make it happen. Now that I am past the dream stage into the building stage, I have many things that I need to do so that each of our runners will get the experience they deserve. I look forward to the end of our first race weekend, when I will be able to pause a bit to reflect on all that we have accomplished. For now, I’ll be donning my hardhat as I build Team Just One Life one flight at a time.

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