Last week was our local UTRID (Utah RID) conference. I am the secretary for the board and so was very involved with planning and carrying out all the things that come along with pulling off a 3+ day conference. I also presented a 3-hour workshop on Friday and Saturday. I would have done it for free but was paid for my time and given a gift as well - it was a book which I'd been wanting to read. The book was "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow. I had heard about the lecture, the book and seen a television show about Randy. (You can google his name and find more information about him but he has been given a limited time to live because of cancer.) The book is inspiring. I started reading and am halfway through. I have to stop at the end of each chapter to keep myself from sobbing at the sweetness, poignancy and clarity it has brought to my thought process this weekend.
This man, who I have never met and will never meet, is a hero. Not because he is dying and doing it with such grace and dignity. Not because he has written a best-selling book and been seen on national TV and everywhere else. He's a hero because he took the time to document some profound lessons he learned for his children. His children are very young and will not have many memories of him - he loves them so much and is taking great care to do the very best he can to leave a lasting legacy for them. His wife, Jai is a heroine. Without knowing anything about her, outside of what he's written - she is amazing. I don't know if I would have her strength of character and courage - but I hope so.
You can watch the actual lecture he gave here I found a video of a short address he gave to graduates at Carnegie-Mellon. It is sweet and profound...all the things a good address should be. Don't miss the end of the clip - it says it all.