You are currently browsing the daily archive for July 25, 2008.
We were driving from NJ to Mass to pick up our oldest son from camp. He was attending a computer camp at Smith College which is put together by IDTech Camps. My friend sent me an email asking if I had heard that Randy Pausch had passed away. It was with tears in my eyes that I read the article. A few months ago, another friend had sent me a link to his reprised “last lecture” from Oprah’s show. Listening to that 10 or 15 minute lecture brought tears to my eyes. Gosh, this man, a couple years older than Tom and I, with three little children, was dying from pancreatic cancer and put together a lecture that makes anyone stop complaining about their life and start thinking about how lucky they are and what a blessing each and every day is because you get to spend it with the people around you. I did some poking around online and started reading this professor’s blog. It was truly inspirational how this man who literally had months to live rose above his own self loathing to be an advocate for research on the disease that was killing him and an inspiration for so many people. I only could hope that I have half that amount of strength and selflessness if I were in a similar situation. Tom bought his book, “The Last Lecture” for me and I am starting to read it. I am sure that it will be with a box of Kleenex by my side. An interesting behind the scenes with the WSJ writer who co-wrote the book is here.
I highly recommend listening to the entire lecture (approximately 75 minutes long) which is located online and linked to at the following page which is the article posted by Carnegie Mellon regarding his death. http://www.cmu.edu/homepage/beyond/2008/summer/an-enduring-legacy.shtml
For anyone who is interested, the blog which was taken over during his last days by a friend, is a true testament to the power of the human spirit. My heartfelt condolences to his wife and his three young children. May those children one day understand how truly selfless and inspirational their father was when others would have already fallen apart by the despair of their lot in life. I truly believe that his life expectancy (which exceeded his doctor’s expectations) was linked to his optimism.
Sometimes, one has to remember to slow down and savor life. In the rush of everyday life with a million and one things that all seem to need to be done yesterday it is admirable advice and not always easy to live by. For example, today we are both working and trying to get things together for a brief trip down to NJ. Veggies to collect from the garden to package up for my mom and inlaws, laundry to be done so we actually have clothes to wear and bags to pack. These excursions to NJ seem like a good idea when we plan them. But the closer it gets, and the reality of 90+ degrees heat and humidity (on a day when I was actually wearing a sweatshirt this morning because it was that cool), with the traffic and actually having to LEAVE here, makes it not seem like such a good idea the night before we leave. My friend came over to pick up her son who was here for a playdate and we got into a nice conversation which actually ended about 1/2 before everyone had to leave. Needless to say, dinner was not what was originally planned, but rather a “what can I throw together in 15 minutes” affair since the boys had a scout meeting at 7. In the middle of the chaos (geez, my life does involve a lot of chaos, doesn’t it?) of getting everyone fed and out the door, I thought about how nice it was to have that chat despite it throwing everything into a tailspin. Sometimes, life is not what is planned, but rather, what is unplanned and time with friends is always time well spent.