A favorite quote of mine is:
"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." - Stephen Grellet
I'd LIKE to say I live that attitude every minute of every day, but it's more something I continually strive for. I especially think about it a lot THIS time of the year, when I'll shave my head as part of St. Baldrick's in the fight to Conquer Kids' Cancer. It does a lot of GOOD and I'd love your support and help.
If you want to cut to the chase, you can simply click on Donate now.
If you'd first like to know a bit more what it's about and why I do it, I encourage you to read on…
“Pursuant to my letter of November 9, 1959, we have decided we would like the following one line epitaph on the monument you are constructing for us:” Thus opened my father’s letter on November 24, 1959, to Wm. B. Snelbaker & Son, Designers of High Grade Memorials. It was one of the last of numerous correspondences they had over the period of about a month, between my parents in Aruba and the company in NJ. My dad was 27, mom 26, and they were making preparations for the burial of their first child. No parent should have to go through what they did.
My father passed away in 1994, the same year my first daughter was born, while visiting us in Phoenix where my parents had come for her Christening. Several years later when we moved my mom to a smaller and easier-to-maintain home, I became the recipient of several boxes of my dad’s files. While going through some of them I came upon one which contained the sobering correspondence I mentioned above. My dad, an engineer, kept copies and records of most everything, including a folded-up, full-size drawing of the gravestone they designed for their first daughter. While sobering, I also always consider things like this important wake-up calls.
So, to help continue the fight to improve survival rate for kids with cancer, for the 15th year I’m going to shave my head as part of St. Baldrick’s Shaving the Way to Cure Kids’ Cancer. It's easy to think "whatever, Bill's shaving his head again." And I agree, it's not unique anymore. It's also not new for those kids dealing with cancer year-after-year, but it is a very new and scary thing for those that have be diagnosed in the past year. They ALL need help and I'm convinced every single person, year-after-year, can make a difference.
There is the historic personal connection for me doing this (you can read more about my sister Karen under the Honored Kids section of my St. Baldrick’s page), as well as two perhaps selfish desires to do something good and to never lose touch with how blessed I’ve been. Through St. Baldrick's two main things are usually said to be accomplished: (1) raise funds for critical cancer research so more kids live longer and (2) show solidarity with the kids battling cancer and undergoing chemotherapy treatments. For me there have always been a few more: REFLECT on life, REMEMBER compassion, REALIZE all you have and RALLY everyone you know.
Slow down for minute or few. Mull over how your life could be different and how blessed you. Hug your kids, your parent, your friends, your coworkers…
Thanks for taking a bit of time out of your day to read this and for any support you can give – it's all good!
I hope you and yours experience awesome things in 2022!