Friday, February 10, 2012
Chapter 12: February 5th, 2011 Boca Raton, Florida
Here's a piece from Chapter 12, which talks about a conversation between myself and my boss Tom Lunsmann, while we were at our National Meeting in Florida. "Tom had been my manager for the past year, but he had been more than that. He had been a sincere friend, a true leader, an enthusiast, a motivator, pretty much anything that you could ever ask for in a phenomenal manager. All those problems I went through with my Mom and Danielle in 2010, Tom was always there to help me through whatever was going on. So, as much as he wasn't a part of my family, I always thought of Tom like he was. I actually cried for a few minutes in my hotel room before I met up with him because I knew this would be one of the most emotional conversations I would ever have. Besides telling my parents, or my brother and sister, Tom had become someone very close to me. So, as we sat outside, Tom and I joked for a minute or two, as we always did. There was never a dull moment when he was around. If he wasn't teaching me on how to become a better sales person, we were usually laughing so hard that we were both crying. That was just his personality; the perfect balance between leader, manager, and friend. As our laughter stopped, Tom finally got around to asking me what was wrong. I'm sure he probably thought something was going on medically with one of my parents again, being that both of them had been through a lot in the past year. My head stared down at the floor as I could feel my right hand in my pocket shaking furiously. I started to feel a bit overwhelmed with emotions, but I managed to keep calm while we spoke. I told Tom I had something to tell him that was going to shock him, and that he needed to be prepared for bad news. As that sentence came out of my mouth, a small tear from my right eye streamed down my cheek and fell off to the floor as quickly as it had come. Tom leaned forward in his chair, as if he was watching the most amazingly suspenseful movie and the shocking ending was about to happen. "Oh man, what's wrong?" Tom asked. That night Tom and I did the 3 things that I feel we should all do everyday......everyday in our lives. We laughed together, we spent some time in thought, and we cried together. I finally realized what it meant to always "live in the moment" after that conversation with Tom. Tom was and still is a true mentor and leader for me, someone I will always look up to. You know at times when someone is describing a person, they use the phrase "he just gets it". Well that's Tom. While I wish I could take credit for the way I live my life day by day, I have to give credit where it's due, and that's to Jim Valvano. Most remember his great speech from the 1993 ESPN Espy's show. If you haven't heard his speech, search for "Jimmy V Speech" in youtube, you won't be disappointed. He lived his life everyday to the fullest until cancer took him away. During his 11 minute speech, he referenced 3 things that we should do everyday in our lives. I've done these things everyday since I accepted Parkinson's and it's truly helped me become a better person. 1)Laugh, 2)Think, 3)Cry. You do those 3 things everyday.....that's a heck of a day!