I promised to write in my Blog prior to the holiday with three thoughts - a promise I was never meant to keep.
My father and mother were visiting from California. They had just arrived at my home on December 19th. After only a few minutes, my Dad, a happy, health (as far as we knew) and positive soul had a massive stroke - he passed away on December 22nd.
A flurry of thoughts and the greatest heartache and grief of my life has consumed me, leaving an insurmountable void at the loss of my best friend in the world. In the midst of facing up to the loss of my beloved father, my mentor, my friend, much self reflection and consideration as to what I am doing with my life, my family, my purpose has crept into the moments that tick by ever so slowly these days as the memories flood in of the times we shared in our special bond as a father and son. So many people reached out to me and our family that the true meaning, the deeper meaning of connections rang true. Before Dad slipped into a coma, I was able to let my sister speak with him from China. She boarded a plane and was here in 13 hours. Dad's niece, Candy, from Japan was able to say one last time, "I Love You" - as were his brother and sisters, grandchildren from Chicago to Virgina. From Las Vegas to California, from Asia to Canada, were were connected.
Together we were praying and sharing support and our love. While Dad was conscious, he knew through the magic of technology, that we were all there, by his side to say we loved him, to say goodbye. I was able to use my Blackberry to e mail his condition hour by hour - when Dad passed away, the only way I could even begin to let people know was to send a short e mail about this one of a kind man who was so kind in this world. I am proud to be his legacy and his Son. I am fortunate to have experienced what "connection" truly means in the hearts and Souls of each individual.
The overwhelming flurry of grief and activity surrounding my fathers passing has consumed me. I hope, in time, the catharsis and discovery of meaning will bring, in his memory, more true insight into what we all must face at one time or the other - the end of the life of a loved one and the continuing of our own lives fed by memories of the love and life of those we've lost. But mostly, how we connect in our lives today, in the day to day of our lives, the happy times and during the difficult.
In the weeks, months and years to come, as thoughts arise that are relevant to the mission of my life and in this Blog on connections, I will reflect and share, as best I can. I was able to experience, first hand, the relationship of business to this grief - and that influence on our lives from airlines to others that either showed they were connected and cared or were disconnected to a point of apathetic unconcern for the individuals affected. In this case it was me, it was my family, it was personal.
I believe with all my heart in the individual connections with and of people around the globe - more now than ever, I believe in the individual and how we relate to what we do in our lives and with the people, with the businesses that affect us, that we spend the limited time we have with. In the end we are all just one with our selves and with the relationships, the loves, the connections we form.
The mission and sense of "1to1" has never been more real to me and more relevant as global connections transform and touch the deepest parts of our existence as individuals together on the stage of life. It's not all JUST marketing. It is why Time Magazine's person of the year for 2006 was "YOU" . My Dad was the person of my life - and Time was right last year. It is about my Dad, it is about me - it is about all the "YOU's" that we all are as individuals. This is what makes up who we are, what happens and how we connect.
The connections we feel, the depths of our thoughts and Souls that can now be conveyed in so many ways, that are so relevant became more real to me than I would have ever imagined. Certainly this depth of insight has come to me in a way I never have wished for. With this sadness comes a new reality to me that I never hoped to understand in this way. But our God, our life, our destiny decides what and when our time has come. How we spend it, how we connect while we live, how my Dad connected and loved was magical. It is all that is up to us - what we share how we connect, how we live and care and love.
In the end we are each individuals - simply players on the stage of our life when the curtain call comes at the behest of something much greater than ourselves.