Saturday, February 8, 2014

I am but a speck...

This morning I went to the funeral of one of my best friend's fathers. I remember him back when we were in high school and college as a commanding presence.  Boisterous, he would fill up a room when he walked in. I knew he was a Teamster.but other then that, I didn't know him at all.

As I listened to people talk about him, I learned more about the man behind the dad I met a few times. The boss that fought for employee rights, benefits and pay as a member, as secretary/treasurer, as vice president and president of a variety of Teamster committees, organizations, unions.

I learned about the philanthropist who donated his time as a board member of the Boys and Girls Club and the United Way.

I learned about the uncle, friend, father and brother who played football and baseball liked to fish and shoot guns by listening to stores, looking at pictures and seeing how many people were there to honor his life in the church this morning.

On my way home I received a text informing me that my father had been in a car accident and was at Tacoma General Hospital. Someone had ran a stop sign and plowed into the driver's side of his car at 40 miles per hour.

When I arrived at the hospital, my family was awaiting the CT scan results. My dad was in pain, he wore a neck brace and had a hematoma on his arm, but things could have been so much worse.

If things had been different, I don't think my dad would regret leaving this place as is, much like my friend's father. He has, in many ways, built a dynasty. His law practice has been up and running for over 25 years and he is one of the most respected attorneys in Washington State.

He went into this kind of law to defend the defenseless. His clients mean something to him. Many of his cases have helped make roads safer, the government more accountable, and helped numerous families put their lives back together after serious accidents.

He is the most generous man I know, willing to give to others, even to his own detriment, even if it means in the long run, he will receive less. He not only gives his money to numerous charities, but has helped many kids go to college, and has donated his time and energy to charities and organizations, politics and justice.

He worked numerous jobs to be able to get through college and law school, he was in the seminary, has traveled every state in America and all over the world, and wrote a novel. He is a lover of football and baseball, has supported just about every local sports team at one time or another including the Mariners, Seahawks, Rockets, Sabercats, Rainiers, and more.

He worked hard but still made us breakfast in the morning and didn't miss our soccer games, baseball games, and school concerts. He's been to his grandchildren's soccer games, football games, choir concerts, school auctions, band gigs, and plays.

He is kind and funny and intelligent and you don't have to take my word for it. Anyone who knows him will tell you in the legal world, his family, the community and his friends. He has kept the same group of friends since he was a child and made many more along the way.

These kinds of events, funerals, close calls, they make you think about life, mortality, your place in the universe...

Compared to these two men, I am but a speck. I look at their lives and I say to What have I done? In comparison, not much. I complain because I don't have time. Maybe time is subjective. Maybe I don't have time because I'm spending it unwisely. Because what I've thought is important, is in a word, not. I've  thought about doing some of the things these great men have done, but I've never actually done them.

I don't want to be a speck. I want to make a mark.

Less think, more do.

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My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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