two large trees with long umbrella branches

Count your blessings, not your woes!

What an incredible few weeks it’s been! Sometimes things are so close to us that we don’t realize everything that is going on and we don’t recognize until we pause and step away.  

A few weeks ago, we had the great honor of attending the celebration of life for Paul “Cooter” Jones. I can’t imagine most people reading this would have any idea who this man was or what his impact was on so many people. Cooter Jones was a baseball player and coach from the Reading area. The only reason I know about this gentleman is because Christine’s dear friend, Sue, is his daughter. Cooter had a long minor league professional career where he set numerous records at the time for the Reading Phillies. The celebration of life was at FirstEnergy stadium in Reading and we listened to four different people speak about the impact this man left. In his many years as a teacher and Coach he impacted thousands of people. His son quoted the Reading Eagle in referring to him as a legend. He then went on to make the distinction between Legend and Legacy. This human being truly had an incredible Legacy in the people that he taught in the players that he coached. His legacy will live on for a long time. You can tell by the emotion of the crowd that this man lived a good life to the age of 90. He was universally loved. 

A few days later, I was notified that I became a grandfather for the first time. Maeve Dolores Gallagher was born on a Saturday afternoon to my son Patrick and his wife Caitlin. We met her on Sunday and she is even more special than I could have ever dreamed. I use the words overwhelmed with joy and I don’t think that adequately expresses my feelings. This young lady represents a new huge chapter for my life and for our lives, and it excites me to no end to see where this leads. 

Three weeks ago, I got to have dinner with my son. It was the last meal I had with him before he left to serve in the United States Navy. The level of sacrifice and service exhibited by those serving our armed forces in our country is so tremendously laudable. I’m so incredibly proud of him and the career he is setting out on. I’m already looking forward to heading out to Chicago for his graduation this summer. 

A little over a week ago, while we were vacationing in Arizona, I got a text message from my daughter to Facebook call her when I had a minute. She was vacationing in the Fingerlakes. We chatted for a minute or two about our respective vacations before she told me she had an announcement and flashed a gorgeous diamond engagement ring. Her long time boyfriend proposed while at the lake. Couldn’t be happier for them or more excited about another weeding and addition to our family! 

 I guess where I’m going with all of this is that literally within the span of month I was able to reflect on the life of a great man, the birth of a grandchild, the departure of a son to serve in the armed forces and my daughter’s engagement! In any month or even year this would be a lot. Having all of this occur in such a condensed time frame has really blessed me with the perspective that life is always changing and always moving. It is really incumbent on all of us to be present in the moment as often as possible. I truly believe that this is where the great joys in life come from. As spring is blooming everywhere, take time to notice the little things- the birds singing, the smell of fresh-cut grass, the laughter of children as they play. Life is precious and always moving- try not to get so wound up about your “troubles” and busyness to forget to actually LIVE and experience the present! Have a great week! 

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