October 14, 2011 A Will To Live Blog
A Year of Hope –
So much love, everywhere I look, everywhere I go. So much hope that comes with that love. We are blessed, I truly believe that and I’m so thankful for so much.
One year ago today I spoke to him, I helped him with his homework, I talked to him about tomorrow and the next day and the exciting activities he was involved in over the next few weeks. We talked about music; we watched videos of several bands together on You-tube. We sat across from each other at dinner, we smiled often. I year ago tonight, I told him I loved him for the last time.
Then everything changed. My Will was gone, our Will was gone, and nothing could ever be the same – I truly believed that – and today I still believe that, but in a very different way that I would like to share that with you – my friends – my old and new Life Teammates.
I believe that one year ago God allowed my son to enter Paradise early; I wish he didn’t, but he did. As a result this past year, we as a family, a community, a Foundation, a team….have done more, learned more, and in many ways lived more than ever before. I can’t say I understand it, but I can say I feel love and I feel hope – and these feelings in some way balance out the sadness in my heart that I know will never go away.
A year where many people have said to me “must have been the worst year of your life John.” Maybe it was …. I’m not going to keep score like that. I will say this:
– Yes, the saddest & most painful year of my life – never have I cried so much – and yes, it’s every day
– Yes, the most difficult – never have I or my family faced the obstacles that 10/15/2011 put in front of us.
– Yes, the most heart wrenching year imaginable.
But every day, I tell the kids of this community to help each other find the good in life’s difficult times, and perhaps it’s time I look in the mirror and do the same.
In this unimaginable year of tragedy and tears for me I learned and/or experienced more “good” than I could have ever imagined… thanks to all of you!:
– I received more love than ever before in my life
– I loved more than ever before in my life
– I recognized how many wonderful friends I have and have had since I was very young
– I was picked up of the ground hundreds of time, by family, friends, colleagues, customers and strangers
– I learned so much about my wonderful Son
– I learned so much about his friends and their lives together
– I was inspired to do good things more than ever in my life
– I realized I love my wife more than ever before and that she is the real strength behind me
– I saw Will’s brothers and sister battle and find their own way to continue on with a new normal of their own. Inspiring so many, and receiving the love of so many – they are constantly teaching me.
– I became a true believer in the kids of today – I had never realized how good the future of this world looks because of the quality of the kids of today – they inspire me.
– I said I love you more than ever before
– I saw young kids say “I love you” more than ever before
– I found a passion inside me that I did not know I had
– I found a way to live in that Passion and what I love to do, and what I’m good at doing, whether I’m at work or at play – with customers or friends – something I was never able to do before.
– My Faith is stronger and my belief that “love is the answer” is stronger than ever before.
– The people of this world truly need each other & the “Human Spirit does crave companionship”
– I feel that I am a truly lucky man!
– I feel that I am a truly lucky man! (yes I wrote that twice).
Over the past week or so, my family and I have received 100 of notes, letters, emails and posts from friends, loved ones and strangers telling us that we are in their prayers, and on their minds, and a source of inspiration.
Thank you for all these kind words. But thank you more for being there for us – for showing us the good and the love that surrounds us daily. You all are God’s gift to me, Susie, Tommy, Michael and Holyn. I said to the kids last Christmas during our “It’s A Wonderful Life” showing (the Foundation’s first event): “Who’s your Clarence? This Christmas tell them!”
Well, I’m telling you all today – YOU ALL ARE OUR CLARENCES – and you have shown us how we can make the world a better place by focusing on those wonderful qualities that our Will displayed every day.
– Quite simply, he loved everyone and he was always able to see the good in everyone
– He always put others first
– He loved just being on the team – he knew that in the end it was not the score we’d remember, it was each other and the relationships that we would remember!
I love you Will – we carry your light. You have inspired me Will, for 15 years I thought it was my job to inspire you and to teach you, I now know that in reality, it was you who was teaching me. I’m proud to be your dad, I’m proud to carry your light, and I’m proud of you. Thank you for the gift of life you have given me – Dad
Thank you Life Teammates – Please ask God to continue blessing us with love, hope and the Will To Live,
“Yesterday Is Gone, Tomorrow Has Not Yet Come, All We Have Is Today, Let Us Begin”
– Mother Teresa