Crowdsourcing Guidance

Today I found out a very close family friend has cancer. A malignant brain tumor the size of a small orange. The type of cancer that my Grandpa Miller had. The six-letter word that has impacted way too many loved ones in my life. Cancer…again.

This guy is one of the nicest, smartest and hardworking people I know. His wife and son are two of the kindest people I have ever met. Together the three of them have been a huge support system to my own family throughout the years. Their family has opened their hearts to so many people and made a difference in the lives of many. From the soccer field to family vacations, this family celebrates life, appreciation and love on a daily basis. When my father called with the news, everything stopped.

Since this morning I’ve tried to hit play again, but can’t. I reached out to a few family members and friends, tried distracting myself with work, went for a run, prayed and read. I’m sitting here writing my story because writing is often my therapy. But nothing seems to help. I can’t figure out why people say everything happens for a reason and then horrible things happen to amazing people. There is no answer.

I know he will beat this. I will run for him this year. I will raise money for a brain cancer cure. I will not stop until days like this are gone. But for today and probably tomorrow, I ask…how do you hit play when everything seems to stop? What clears your mind? What revives your Faith? Yes, I’m crowdsourcing some guidance.


Tagged: , ,

3 thoughts on “Crowdsourcing Guidance

  1. Pat Miller July 5, 2012 at 9:53 pm Reply

    that is the question, why do bad things happen to good people…if bad things happen to bad people, do they deserve it? or maybe it just really hurts so much more when it happens to some one you love and respect…sorry no answers..hang on to hope!

  2. AHS July 5, 2012 at 10:02 pm Reply

    I coach a high school wrestling team. This past year, one of our seniors whose father has been out of the picture since long before I met him, lost two of his best friends in short succession – one took his own life and the other passed away suddenly in his sleep. To get through, he threw himself completely into wrestling and preparing for his senior year. While away at an infamously difficult camp in Pennsylvania, he suffered a concussion and was told he shouldn’t complete the camp. Frustrated, he did what he had been taught in his life – when faced with adversity, fight through it – and continued to compete with the head injury (including completing a 12 mile run in 90 degree heat), which only exacerbated the problem.

    As the winter began, he had trouble getting to his desired weight and suffered another concussion during practice, essentially robbing him of his senior season. He sat on the sidelines and watched as his fellow seniors and other teammates, many of whom he had outworked, succeeded and went on to achieve things without him. During this time, he was also wait-listed at the only college he applied to. He was prepared to come back for our state tournament match (and final match of his career), but his concussion symptoms suddenly returned as he became nauseous on the bus ride to the match and threw up, forcing us to bench him for his own good.

    He was furious; I sat down with the intention of cheering him up, but all I could say was something to the effect that he might be in the middle of one of the worst senior years I had heard of, and I wished I could tell him there was a reason and it would all make sense one day, but it probably wouldn’t: at least he’d be a tougher person inside than most other people his age. He laughed and said “what can you do?”

    When the yearbook came out, I was very curious to read his senior quote. The kid had had one bad thing after another happen to him, including being stripped of the one thing he turned to in times of difficulty. When I reached his quote, I found a long, thoughtful list of thank yous to everyone who had been there when nothing was going right, and ended with “It makes me a better person every day.” I was blown away at the amount of perspective and character this kid could have at 17 when many people twice his age would’ve responded with bitterness, anger, apathy, or destructive decisions.

    I looked at this kid and said “if he can be gracious enough to be thankful for everything after all that and find strength in the people around him who care about him, it would be an insult to him for me, who has been blessed with so much, to not stay positive and productive as best as I can for the people who care about me.”

    So my long-winded answer summed up: Bad things can sometimes be an opportunity to remember those who are important to me and who I am important to, and to make sure I’m doing everything I can to deserve their love and respect by staying positive and productive and trying to be a better person every day. That’s what keeps me going. Hope this was semi-coherent, despite being longer than the post it was in response to. I read it and felt compelled to share this kid’s story.

    Oh, and the kid did get accepted to the college right around the time the yearbook came out.

    • ktmiller19 July 5, 2012 at 10:12 pm Reply

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. You have no idea how helpful it was to read this. I agree, this is a time to re-evaluate and make sure I’m being the best friend, family member, coworker, etc. that I can be. Thanks for the reminder and I’m so happy to hear the student got into the college he wanted…seems like he really deserved it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: