April 9, 2012


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Today was just like any other Monday. Until it wasn’t.

I got into work early for my first of many meetings and began asking myself how I was actually going to get any work done today while in so many meetings. Then I procrastinated starting any of that work so I could go make Cinnamon and Spice oatmeal. Just another “Manic Monday.”

A few minutes later, I was sitting in the first of those many meetings, hurriedly prepping for the start and trying to get the computer to work. Kind of important when you are running a GoTo Meeting. But kind of less important when you heard the news we all heard next.

One of our colleague’s sons has a tumor on his spine. They think he has cancer. This just happened in the past 24 hours. He couldn’t move his legs so they took him to the hospital and that’s when the doctor’s found out.

He’s only nine months old.

Ever been punched in the gut? Or blocked a soccer ball with your stomach that was meant to be cleared out of the box? That’s what it feels like to hear news like that. About a colleague. Somebody you see every day. And I can’t even imagine what it must feel like for he and his family.

48 hours ago they were hanging out together as a family during Easter weekend. How quickly life can change.

Most of you know that Maggie and I are expecting a baby this summer. It’s our first. So I’ve got no real-life experience to go on as a father. But I know enough and feel enough already to know that this kind of thing isn’t supposed to happen. That as a parent, you would want to do anything you possibly could to help your son — the sense of helplessness must be overwhelming.

That there is no script for something like this. Except to wait…and to pray.

A couple of hours later, we got an email from a member of our support staff telling us that a client’s wife had gone in recently for what they thought was a standard operation to remove a cyst. But when they got in there, they found the cyst was cancerous. So the procedure became anything but standard.

They think his wife is going to be ok. But they aren’t out of the weeds yet. Have to run some more tests before they’ll know. Hopefully it will end up being nothing. Just a surgery that lasted a few hours longer than originally planned. Just a scare that they really didn’t need to be scared about.

Just have to hope for the best and wait to see what the test results show. Wish there was more we could do to help. But like our client and his wife, all we can really do is wait…and pray.

Now, you can ask Maggie, I’m not the most religious person. I used to say my prayers before bedtime almost every night when I was kid. But these days, I rarely pray. No need to get into why. It’s just not something I do.

Days like today make me wonder if I should give it another chance.

I will tell you that I tried to enjoy the work and meetings as much as possible this afternoon. I tried to find some time to go talk to my friends at work and make them laugh. I tried to have fun mowing the lawn and sweeping the driveway tonight when I got home.

I definitely tried to hug my pregnant wife a little harder tonight that usual. I hope our unborn son or daughter felt it.

I also tried praying again. For the first time in a while. It’s not really a religious thing with me. I just wanted to do something to try and help my colleague. And my client.

It sounds so cliche, but sometimes the things we focus on and get caught up in are really jacked up. There’s a lot to like about Mondays…like the fact that when I woke up this morning my wife, our baby, our family, our friends, our puppies, were all doing ok for the most part, besides maybe needing a strong cup of coffee.

Things can change pretty fast. I know I lose site of that way too often.

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JoelFortner 212 pts

You did the right thing. Prayer is serious business. I hope you keep at it.