Real Love

Garden Columbine

“Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself — and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to — letting a person be what he really is.”

Jim Morrison

Mad

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“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”

Jack Kerouac, On The Road

Go With Others

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“Compassion is hard because it requires the inner disposition to go with others to the place where they are weak, vulnerable, lonely, and broken.”

Henri Nouwen

Hunger After

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“We can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them.”

George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss

Dad

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“He didn’t tell me how to live;
he lived, and let me watch him do it.”

Clarence Budington Kelland, 1882-1964

Feb. 2004

Dear Dad,

I’ve told you before but not often enough how proud I am of you and how much I love you and who you are and what you have done for me. So much of who I am today is because of you — from listening to your wise counsel over the years, yes, but mostly from watching you in action. I suppose all those years of playing with your office equipment and supplies and writing notes all over your office with your cool pens helped lead me to where I am now professionally. As I organize things, delegate jobs and direct projects, I also glimpse you and your leadership skills rising up in me. Your cool-headedness under pressure and the ability to look at things logically and pragmatically, yet with a touch of compassion and heart, is what I probably value the most. All those years growing up, I always knew you were the real softie!

I also watched you over the years go through challenging experiences and deal with difficult circumstances. You taught me that life isn’t fair and life is difficult, but that isn’t reason to make excuses or blame the world — you keep plugging away and do the best with what you have, and cherish the small moments of life and love your family and serve your church and honor your God and don’t give up on any of those things even when sometimes they seem to give up on you.

Thank you for the sacrifices you have made over the years and continue to make for your family. I know you sacrificed a lucrative career and worldly goods for us. And then you struggled over the years to provide for us in a way that didn’t take you away from us. Thank you for that. Please know that we never once went without the most important things in life — the love of two parents who loved us and put us first in their lives, and the many, many, many wonderful family memories that will last forever. I am thankful now that we didn’t have fancy cars or fancy clothes or fancy vacations. We have fancy memories of a family that loves each other.

We had the coolest family vacations — hiking, camping, canoeing, visiting historical sights — and enjoyed the best times together…and continue to do so. All these things, and so many more that I could write a book about, make you a wonderful man and the best father for ME. And one of the things that I thank you for the most is the way that you adore my mother. Nothing speaks more loudly about your Christ-like example and compassion than the partnership you have with Mom and the family that together you have dedicated your lives to.

I thank God daily for you and for allowing me to continue to be blessed by your wisdom and wit and wonderful unconditional love.

I love you.

Lee

Blessing

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“There is no conflict man can endure that will not produce a blessing.” Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

Imagine

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“Imagine loving yourself. Imagine being able to enjoy who you are. Imagine not having to compare yourself to other people…And imagine being able to celebrate others! Imagine…doing your job not to prove your identity or worth but as an expression … Continue reading

A Friend

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“A friend is someone who will die to keep us from becoming anyone else, someone who fights for us against a world that is constantly trying to shrink us into shelved canisters labeled ‘how you’re supposed to be.’ A friend … Continue reading

Humor

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“A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.” Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1890-1969

Suffer

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“The truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid suffering the more you suffer because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you in proportion to your fear … Continue reading