Monday, April 27, 2009

An Open Letter to My Children - Part 1

Last year, as you know, I became something new for me… a cancer survivor. That experience was one that gave me significant pause and invited a certain reflection on my life. It is not unlike the very first time I had a shock about mortality. Back in 1976, I experienced mortality for the first time in a very personal way. My mother, your grandmother, went through a radical double mastectomy to remove breast cancer from her body. As I observed her ashen body recovering from the surgery and before she had fully awakened from the anesthesia, a new thought went through my mind. Could my mother die?

While we were able to enjoy my mother for another four years, that thought, of her possible death, that I had that summer day in 1976 profoundly altered the way I looked at the world. I would say, it was my first true step toward becoming a man. I loved my mother deeply. She was not only a wonderful mother to me, she was in many ways my best friend and the possibility that she would not be with me to see me get married, have a family, grow old with my father and simply live life was unthinkable until that day.

So, on that summer day in 1976, death became part of my life.


In a similar way, when I got the news in October of 2007 that I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, suddenly I was faced with a new step in my life's journey. The possibility of my own mortality. Until that day, I fully expected to go on living my life for many years to come. Now all of a sudden, I had to confront some stark questions. Would I live to see Michael graduate from college? Would I live to give my beautiful daughter Kelly away at her wedding? Would I live to coddle wonderful grandchildren on my knee. Would I be there to congratulate Mark as he made strides in his career? Would I live to walk along forest pathways with the love of my life, Cheryl? All of these questions, and more, went through my mind on that Friday in October 2007.


So now, here I am with over one year since I was declared in remission. As each day passes, the memory of that shocking day fades a bit. Still, I never go a day without pondering my own mortality and wonder what kind of legacy I am leaving.


Yesterday would have been my father's 85th birthday. I thought it fitting as a tribute to him and to do what I could to honor you, my children that I would offer a few thoughts on what I have learned in my lifetime and who have been some of my key influences in my life. I do this both in a quiet way and a public way. I make no special announcement to you, yet I post it here for the world to see. Perhaps, you will run across this at some point and the discovery will intrigue you and you will find it fascinating. Or perhaps, you will find it and think, oh there goes my crazy Dad again imagining somehow that his thoughts are somehow more important than they are. Still I offer these thoughts sincerely with the hope that one day you may find comfort and perhaps a little wisdom in my musings.


For any of you who stumble upon this, and are not part of my immediate family, perhaps you may look at this as love letter to you from a father you may not have known as well but wanted to.


In the next few days, my father!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Don't Mess With Me

I had an hysterical conversation with my cousin from the great Northwest. She is absolutely a GREAT American. In fact, she shared with me a couple of items that all I have to say is GOD Bless You Kelly. You are almost keeping up the "John Wayne" tradition single-handed .

On a recent visit to her brother, the famous, Will Osbrink, she confessed to becoming enamoured with guns. Not some POP gun or BB Gun mind you, I'm talkin about .357 magnums. All I have to say is You Go Girl!

Here are couple of items that I am displaying that belong as badges of honor. The first is a picture of a coke can shot from about 35 yards away by her and the 2nd is definitely why you will always know if you shopping in Texas.
This is aptly and simply titled "Don't Mess With Me"

And now for a good humored poke at our fellow citizins from Texas, here is a video entitled, "How You Know You are Shopping in Texas.

video

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Lesson in Economics

An economics professor at Texas Tech said he had never failed a single student before but had, once, failed an entire class. Thatclass had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said ok, we will have an experiment in this class on socialism. All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A. After the first test the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The  students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. But, as the second test rolled around, thestudents who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too; so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around the average was an F. The scores never increased as bickering, blame, name calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.
All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because… when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great; but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

Could not be any simpler than that....
 
SOCIALISM goes against human nature – each person has an inate desire to be rewarded and recognized for work well done.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Way to Go Mike!

All.....

Got this update from Michael Morrow. Way to go Mike!!!

Hi Everybody!!!!I am back again to share with you my story of the LA Marathon! I am training hard and raising money for one of the best, most deserving charities around:

ChildSHARE.www.childshare.orgI am sure some of you may be wondering why i keep spelling SHARE in all capital letters. The reason is because SHARE stands for support, hope, advocacy, resources and encouragement; five things needed for a family to take on the challenge and adventure of foster care.I feel like i have finally hit a grove in my training. I just ran five miles yesterday and it was the best run so far. I changed a couple things in my running technique and feel like i really got a great runners high that lasted even several hours after i was back at home. Today is a maintenance run of three miles to keep my body ready for the eight mile run i have planned for this Saturday.

I first wanted to run in the LA Marathon when i heard that it was ChildSHARE's largest fundraiser of the year. My New Year's resolution for 2009 was to complete the Long Beach Half Marathon in October, and i figured why not train for a half marathon by running a half marathon? It makes sense to me...

A gigantic THANK YOU to all those who have donated to the wonderful cause of ChildSHARE through my web page at www.firstgiving.com/michaelmorrow. Your donations are greatly appreciated and i couldn't have raised as much without you. As of yesterday, I have just crested the $1000 mark on the way to my goal of $2500, which would be enough to place a child in a family that will love and care for them the way they deserve to be loved and cared for. if you haven't donated yet, don't worry. There is still plenty of time before the flag drops on the start line of the LA Marathon at 7:20 am!!!!

I will be sure to keep updating all of you about my training progress, ChildSHARE news, and the Marathon itself!

Until Next Time,

Mike Morrow