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What Matters Most

Published September 30, 2013

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On September 20th a neighbor of mine was driving home when he began not feeling well. He knew something was very wrong and called 911. It turned out Bill had a brain tumor, one that had shifted his brain several millimeters. The doctors operated to remove his tumor and were able to remove it successfully, however the tumor was malignant and will require radiation and chemo to fully eradicate the cancer.
Watching Bill and his family over these last 10 days has been an emotional journey as our neighborhood has prayed, hoped, and stood with them as it became clear that they had a long road ahead of them. While we do all we can here to help prepare them to come home so that Bill can begin treatment, I am challenged once again about my priorities and how I live my own life.
I have spent these last 14 months re-engaging with my family and struggling through what to do next, and how to utilize all of my experiences to do something that matters. While that process has been long and fruitful, it has also been frustrating. However I watched that frustration melt away as I saw a man who wanted nothing more than to hug his girls and get out of that hospital bed.
Yesterday a friend and I visited Bill in the hospital and I heard him talk about how he had taken so much for granted and he was going to cherish this time with his family. It made me realize that while work is important, and making an impact in my career is something I am wired to do, it is not what matters most.
What matters most is being a great husband to my wife, being a great dad to my kids, being a good friend & neighbor, and serving others. Everything else beyond those things is icing on the cake, and if I get a chance to do something that can influence and change other people’s lives in the marketplace, I’ll be thankful for the opportunity to do that. But it won’t be an all encompassing and life draining venture that takes me away from my family emotionally and physically.
Remembering the things that matter and not focusing on the things that don’t is what I want to be remembered for. Thank you Bill for your courage, heart, and the impact you have had on me through your journey.