Monday, March 11, 2013

Impressions.. Which one do you make?

There are certain people who come into your life and go, and there are others that leave a lasting impression. 

As I reflect over last week, I paid respects to a man who had a last impression on everyone he came in contact with, and I ran into someone who I had not seen in over a year, yet he can make someone’s day just by being present.

I’ll start with the happier of the two encounters.

Mr. McCann

I ran into my high school principal at the gym on Sunday morning.  You know when you were younger and they said “The difference between principle and principal, is that Mr. SoandSo is your PAL” well, that is true when talking about Mr. McCann.  He is the kind of person who finds the good in all {even the trouble makers}.  He knew every single student who walked through the doors at my high school, and doesn’t just know their face, but knows their name, their story, and who they are as a person.

It's not an easy task when my graduating class was 525 students, and then multiply that by 29 years of being in administration.  This man is no where short of amazing.  He makes it to every student’s graduation party {that he is invited to}, he hands out more diplomas than any other teacher at graduation, and he is the most genuine charismatic person you will ever meet. 

I posted the following on facebook on Sunday, and this is the response I received:

Pretty amazing.. huh!  I'm pretty confident that most princiPALs receive that great of a response from a single FB post. 

 Clay, a fellow co-worker

The other individual that made such a positive impact on me was an associate that I had the pleasure to work with at the hospital.  Clay was a long time associate within the organization, he left, and then decided that he wanted to come back to work for the company.  I interviewed him, realized right then he was amazing.  It wasn’t until I went to walk him over to the meet with the department management team, how big of an impact he made on the organization.  What would typically take me 5 minutes, took 30 minutes because so many people were so excited to see him.

Right after I hired Clay, I also hired his wife Ella into a different department.  She was just as sweet as him.  They both shared how they had recently adopted a son {they were both in their early 50’s at the time} because they had each other, they had the means, and they had their health, why not give a child a chance.  They were both so special, and they just had hearts of gold.

Unfortunately Clay’s health declined rather quickly.  He had a stroke, and then came back to work {quite the fighter}, and then after being short of breath at work, they discovered stage 4 cancer throughout his body.  Sadly we all knew that his time here was not going to be much longer.  We watched Ella in street clothes come in and out of the hospital doors, not as an associate for the company, but as a family member who was watching her loved one’s life decline.  It was hard.  It was very difficult for all of us to watch.

Sadly, we lost Clay on February 25th of this year.  He was taken WAY too soon, and I’m pretty sure you could ask EVERY associate in the organization and they would say the same thing. 

Clay was one of those people who never complained {only when he was late to meet Ella for their daily 1:00 lunches in the hospital cafeteria}, who could instantly put a smile on someone’s face, reminded you to slow down, take a deep breath, everything will be okay, and most importantly, your day was better every time you ran into Clay in the hallway.

The company had a service in Clay’s honor last week, and as I sat there and listened to everyone talk, not a single person had a negative thing to say about the man.  And at the end of the day, I every person in the auditorium was a better person for knowing him.  Unfortunately he was just taken way too soon.

Running into Mr. McCann, and having to say good-bye to Clay has really made me think.  Make me think about who I am as a person, and what I can change about myself to make sure that I am being the best person that I can possibly be, whether with my family or friends, work or in the community.  You want to be that person to someone else.  You want to make sure that it’s genuine.  You want to make sure that it’s pure.  You want to make sure that it’s authentic.  And most importantly, you want to make sure that its YOU!

I challenge you to find someone that you can idolize their presence amongst people, and strive to make yourself that much better tomorrow!  I know I am going to try my hardest. 

Rest In Peace Clay – you will be missed by all who knew you!

1 comment:

ashley cornerwithlove said...

Such a true and heartfelt post. Thank you for that, I needed to read that. Praying for Clay's family.