While waiting to board the plane, I leaned over to hug my son, Joshua, and realized he had grown so much since last year’s Renewal and Remembrance.
I almost didn’t come this year, too much on my plate. Life was too complicated, finances weren’t there, abrupt changes that rattled me, oh I could give you a million really good, valid reasons but in the end, it was a simple decision. I needed to be there. Joshua needed to be there.
This event changes us every year. From the very first time, years ago, when I asked Joshua if he wanted to come and received a “less than thrilled to plant things in the dirt and get hot and sweaty” look to now “if we can work it around my baseball schedule, I want to go.” I am going to do my best to make that happen because kids learn by example. If I continue to provide him with opportunities to serve others by attending the annual Renewal & Remembrance children’s program, and then when he is upgraded to the “man’s job of spreading the smelly Lime or using the STIHL auger with Mr. Roger to make all the holes for the little kids before they show up”, I am showing him what it means to help your community and give back.
I show him that we are lucky to be able to storm the hill with all of our other PLANET members who tirelessly work to educate and protect our members and our industry. We visit BOTH sides of the political landscape because in the end, it is up to each of us to persevere, challenge, innovate, and be bold.
Joshua sat with me during my very long meetings. He mentioned that “your meetings are not like what you see on television.” I asked him to delve further and he continued by saying “your conversations are nice, kind, polite and they listen to you. No one is yelling, being rude, or tense. They tell you stuff that is really neat (i.e. one of the staffers that I have met with for years told me she now has a boyfriend, and Senator Reid had a fantastic story about the land swap that happened so Joshua’s school could be built) and they work with you to see how we can end gridlock and make some headway on the issues that you talk about.” Yes, this happens on BOTH sides.
Renewal and Remembrance, Legislative Day on the Hill. It takes time, it takes money, but in the end, it changes lives. I know it changes Joshua’s and mine. What are you waiting for? I hope to see you in 2015. You can’t afford to pass up a life changing event. It’s one simple decision.