Aron has tagged me for the “8 Things About Me” meme.
So, here are eight random things about me.
1. I believe that a happy, fulfilling life cannot be achieved by approaching life as a competitive event. A well-lived life is a cooperative effort.
2. I am very concerned about the growing toxicity of our planet.
3. I’m a big believer in “abundance mentality.” There is enough joy and love and prosperity in the world to go around. One person’s happiness and success does not mean that there is any less happiness and success available for anyone else.
4. I really hate talking on the phone.
5. I can play sheet music, but only in treble clef. I understand the rules of bass clef, but despite years of effort my hands still can’t seem to coordinate with my brain on this one.
6. I am very concerned about the modern trend toward financial goals and the superficial trappings of wealth rather than the true nurturing of human hearts and spirits. So many people out there own all the latest gadgets, but are literally starving for real friendship and love and encouragement. The very real human need to be noticed and appreciated and emotionally connected is what drives spiritually bankrupt social outcasts to finally gain the attention of their fellow man by any means necessary, even if it means a bloodbath at a school or shopping mall.
7. I believe that every child enormously benefits from being read to every day, even well past the age when he is able to read on his own. This is a time for parents and children to share, reconnect, and refill that emotional tank that too often goes empty these days.
8. (This is going to be a long one. Bear with me.) My grandfather passed away unexpectedly Saturday morning. Or, no. ‘Unexpectedly’ isn’t really the right word — after all, the man was ninety years old and had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Certainly we knew he wouldn’t be around for very much longer.
Otis Fosmo was one of the most resourceful, creative, independent and just plain smart people that ever lived. He walked his own path, never followed the crowd, lived on his own terms. He dwelled in a house that he built himself with his own two hands; some of my warmest memories of childhood are set in that cozy place. He kept his body strong and his mind sharp. There was no weakness in him that I ever saw.
Cancer is an ugly thing. Anyone who has seen a loved one taken by this horrible disease knows what I mean: the way it robs its victims of their vitality and their dignity. I can only imagine what a blow it must have been to my strong, independent grandfather to learn that he was facing such a fate.
He wasn’t in any real physical pain. His mind was as sharp as ever, his body not yet ravaged by the cancer.
My father tells me that on Friday, Grandpa became very depressed about his situation. He said he wanted to die strong, not weak and helpless.
Saturday morning he did not awaken. He died, as he had lived, on his own terms.
He was an amazing man.
Rest in peace, Grandpa. I’m so very glad to have known you.