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12/20/14

“Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.”

I have to thank Deb for sending me this quote and I was extremely humbled when she wrote “THIS IS YOU!!!!”  It’s more meaningful that the compliment comes from someone who continues to embody this quote by how she treats people each day so effortlessly, whether in her job or on a personal level, that there is no doubt of its genuineness.

I’ve said before that I have owed so much sometimes to those I know the least.  We all know those types of people.  The ones who we just met or barely know and for some inexplicable reason, we share the most sequestered and protected things hidden within our soul that are generally shared in only our private conversations with our Creator.  Maybe it’s the desperate need for cathartic conversation coupled with the minuscule risk of retribution from what we share.

That’s Deb almost all the time, and it’s impossible for me count the number of people who have found their temporary and trusted “confessional” within her presence to cleanse the products of their human existence.  It’s an overused cliche but during those times that people connect with her, if even momentarily, she is their “Angel sent from above” because by being someone who allows them to be heard, they no longer feel alone.  As a consequence, their world is less lonely and confusing among the boundaries of their insecurities and frailties.

She’s my wife so of course, she’s too close to me to truly appreciate those gifts or take advantage of them all the time.  It’s understandable because of the emotional intensity the weight of our titles as “husband/wife” and “parents” has created.  Nonetheless she’s my best friend – I mean don’t really have much choice given her proximity.

But enough about her and back to me since that’s whose really important, right?  I occasionally find comfort and catharsis through the “Angels” that occasionally cross my path when I’m lucky enough to recognize them.  I’ve found them everywhere in the most unlikely places under the most unexpected circumstances.  In looking back, if I knew their names or addresses, I’d send them a Christmas Card thanking them for their contributions but I guess I never got around to getting their name or have forgotten.  I suppose when figuratively stripped down and exposed through my unburdening, that otherwise important information gets neglected in the process.  But I do know that with those contributions, it’s incumbent upon me to seize moments where I may be able to do the same.

And now back to Deb’s observation that the above quote is “me”.  Maybe, but it’s probably as much a matter of outcome rather than intent.  I mean I am constantly striving for peaceful and tranquil days and I’ve learned that a majority of such objectives can’t be satisfied without the contributions of those within the center of my immediate hemisphere.

I’ve figured out a few things traveling on the”Dico Express Lane” of my life.  As I’ve said before, rarely have I taken “lazy steps” and I’m not inclined to delay acting upon opportunities where I can accomplish something meaningful for me or someone else.

We are a product of the creation and/or imagination of a Higher Power but what I do each day is in large part the result of my own creation and imagination.  I know I want to be happy but that happiness is measured in large part in the return I get in investing in others’ happiness.  I know how I wish to be loved but I can only control how well I love others and hope for the best.  I try to see the best in myself and part of that is by controlling how I treat others, even if it takes a bit of work to see and hopefully bring out the best in them.  In the end, the response is not as important as the intent since I’m fed and galvanized through every effort.

This has been a good year and not because of any particular majestic acts or gifts of grandeur.  I might count “baseball” as an ever expanding source of my sons’ (including my “adopted” son Cole) extraordinary offerings because it’s the common denominator shared in my family’s and friends’ lives.  But beyond that, the last year has mainly been a large tapestry of simple, singular, and idiosyncratic daily events.  Most of my days are at the Spectrum Club and obviously not to be measured by my physical results. BIt does allow me to exercise my right to be genuinely interested and kind to those who routinely circle around me.  From that, I’ve developed a greater awareness and appreciation of all things without being overwhelmingly consumed about the progress, or lack thereof, of my recovery over the last year.

My family and friends are my constants but I cannot express how significant people at Spectrum like Stevie, Val, Mina, Alisa, Jessie, Marlena, Paula, Joe, Elisa, Nicole, Danielle, etc, or new friends like Cathy, Kay, John, Lori, Nancy, Esther, etc, have meant and still mean to me.  Maybe just random people to you and would have remained that way to me if I didn’t risk more than a brief “hello” or simple “nodding of the head” as I passed them by at the gym.  Early on after my injury when I was arguably at my most vulnerable and uncertain point in my life, I just decided to take a chance and reach out where before I might have been more guarded.  It convinced me that interaction with even the most casual acquaintances or relative newcomers to my routine sequence of events could still fill important voids on a daily basis and in an odd way, those “random” people and countless “strangers” have unknowingly given me more in return than I’ve provided to them.  I guess that by extending my personal surroundings, I created additional social interconnections that are now part of my growing catalog of life’s “basic, simple elegance” and therefore, perpetuate the desire to share more of who I am to make those who could use it feel like “somebody” to me!

Lastly I often think of these words by Rob Thomas in the song “Someday” because they have meaning when I see someone who just might need a smile, a chuckle, or just a hug.  Maybe I can “shed a little light on everything around [me], man it’s great to be someone” because “sometimes we don’t really notice just how good it can get.”  I love the words to the entire song and the inspirational video because I have to remember to be kind because life is not always easy and for everyone I meet, someone may be fighting a hard battle and be looking for a little kindness.  You just never know, and that someone just might be me at times so when I get a smile in return, I am transported back to where I need and want to be!

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