Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

One week from today we will celebrate our next major holiday, Thanksgiving.  Unfortunately, in my own mind and without good explanation, this holiday has taken the famous backseat.  Has Thanksgiving become that four day weekend where we spend time with family and don our ever-so-popular elastic waist-banded pants?  
For most, it’s unlikely we walk around the workplace spouting “I can’t wait for Thanksgiving to hurry up and get here!” Understandably, there are no presents to open nor is it a socially acceptable time to watch Clark W. Griswold.  BUT there is something special about Thanksgiving this year...  
I received a random phone call today.  As an office this year, we thought it would be different to send Thanksgiving cards to our customers.  The phone call today was from a customer letting us know how much it meant for her to receive a card this particular holiday.  She went on to describe her family’s Thanksgiving traditions and why she was thankful.  In just a few short minutes, she provided the most compelling reminder of why this holiday should be toward the top of our Favorite(s) list.  
As American’s, we have many reasons to be thankful.  We enjoy a lot of freedoms, don’t we?  As I take stock today, I’m so thankful for family, faith and health.  This week and next, take a few moments to live in the present and enjoy your Thanksgiving Week.    

Happy Thanksgiving!
Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.  ~Theodore Roosevelt

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Thinking of Jess

12 months ago, we lost an angel.  

Jessica was a sister.  The only girl among five boys in our family, she was boss.  Every Sunday afternoon growing up, our families would have lunch and spend time at our grandparents home - playing wiffle ball, swimming in the creek, shooting hoops and playing wrestle-mania.  Jess and I also spent the better part of five years in Springfield together - meeting for coffee, going to church on Sundays and enjoying time with our friends.  
Though she is not with us today, her legacy politely begs the question: how do you spend your time?  
Jessica taught us many lessons.  Arguably, none more important than how she spent her time.  Jess was a giver.  She invested her time in other people.  Stamping an unforgettable footprint, she poured herself into family, friends and clients.  Jessica will forever be remembered as a person of love and encouragement.  May we always be reminded of how she lived that Golden Rule.  
One year ago, while driving to church, Jessica went on to receive her eternal reward.  I hear your giggle every day, Jess and have faith we’ll see each other again soon.  Love and miss you.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

My First Encounter with Amy

Needing to see how McKesson’s software was demonstrated to a prospect, my manager asked me to schedule a trip to see a live product presentation.  I had recently met a remote member of our sales team that week, Amy Fulks, who lived in Orlando but was in Springfield for a quarterly sales meeting.  Amy knows the McKesson product inside and out, so naturally I mustered a little courage to ask if she would mind my tagging along on an upcoming trip.  She politely obliged and while looking at her calendar, she mentioned a scheduled to Portland, Maine.  “You are welcome to be a part of this presentation, Jared, this should be a great opportunity to see the product and this particular group will not mind!”   
Two weeks later, I’m on a plane to Portland.  Not having a lot of business traveling experience under my belt, I decide to pack for my three day trip in my ‘larger’ suitcase.  Not a big deal, right?  Amy and I coordinated our travel plans to connect in Cincinnati, then on to Maine.  We hop aboard our plane, sit beside each other and bring on the small talk.  For two and a half hours we talked and coincidentally share a People magazine (the magazine of choice on our coffee table today).  When we arrive in Portland, Amy grabs her carry-on luggage and we head off.  While navigating our way through the terminal, I mention I need to swing by Baggage to get my suitcase.  Oh Lord, what have I done...
Here’s this beautiful girl, with God knows how many clothes and shoes she might need for a three day business trip in Portland, Maine - in January, nonetheless.  Amy jaunts off the plane with only a carry-on... and now, we’re waiting at Baggage for my suitcase.  Then it happens.  Suddenly, around the carousel, rolls my 49 lbs. suitcase.  Amy looks at my suitcase, then at me, at my suitcase - then back at me.  This moment drags on for what seems like hours!  With a smile on her face, she innocently says “you going somewhere after Portland, Jared?”  Demasculated and wanting jump on the carousel myself, I decide to own up to the fact that I perhaps over-packed.  So off we go down the terminal, my suitcase wheels leaving indentions on the concrete floor and Amy casually packing her carry-on...
Amy and I shared our first meal at DiMillo’s.  DiMillo’s is a floating seafood restaurant in the heart of Portland harbor.  Shutting out the rest of the world, we swapped stories over crab cakes and lobster bisque.  

While chatting away, Amy started blowing smoke about how good she is at the game of pool.  After listening to this for 15 minutes or so, it was time for us to find out whether this pool shark babble was for real.  We asked the waiter where we could locate a place to settle the score and luckily for me, there was a local joint just down the road.  After several games, Amy took a trip to the woodshed and enjoyed a slice of crow pie.  To this day, she claims she had an “off” night.
For the rest of the evening we drove around Portland talking on the Trust Tree.  When wanting to share something confidential, she would ask me, “are we on the Trust Tree?”    
Absolutely.  The next day after her presentation we drove around Portland checking out lighthouses and continued to enjoy each other’s company.  It was refreshing.  
We left Portland that day and connected back through Cincinnati.  I kept thinking how unfortunate it was for Amy to be heading back to Florida and me to Springfield.  As I walked Amy to her gate we witnessed something never to forget.  As Amy and I were saying our goodbyes, a uniformed soldier and his wife were also saying their goodbyes.   In that moment, I prayed for both that lady and myself, that we would see our special people again soon.  
One year ago today, I got to marry my special person.  For years I had heard people say they love their significant other more today than the day they got married...quite frankly, I thought it was a punchline - until today.  
Happy One Year Anniversary, Sweetheart!  I love you.