Tuesday, February 7, 2012

10 minutes to live: Write accordingly!

I am participating in an on-line writing class.  Every day we get a writing prompt and we are too write for 10 minutes each day.  Write as if our hair is on fire.  We write on a lunch sack with a sharpie.  That is our blank canvas to fill, front and back.  Some are writing on the sides as well, using the margin. 

The prompt for Sunday.   You have 10 minutes to live.  Write on your bag everything you need to say in those 10 minutes.

I must confess, I cheated.  I wrote for more than 10 minutes.  I didn't want to stop.  So little time, so much to say. 

I know that is not how life works.  Most are probably not be able to say, "wait, I need more time, come back for me later."

As I began to run out of time and room on my canvas, I felt really sad.  Not from a sense of regret about the life I have lived, but in that I didn't always tell the people in my life how much I loved them, they mattered to me.  I had left things unsaid. 

I found out in the wee hours this morning that my son's store was robbed last night.  He is okay.  I get to celebrate that and will be able to tell him that I love him.   I get another chance.   

I wrote about my family, my family as I grew up and the one wild and precious life as a family that I have been blessed to have with Sue, Laura and Adam. 

I didn't write from regret.  I wrote about good memories, a life I was grateful for. 

Going to Bronco games with my Dad when you couldn't give your tickets away, they were that bad.  Stomping our feet in the old portable East Stands at Mile High Stadium.  That was true Rocky Mountain Thunder.  

Leaving a Bronco game early when Lou Saban fired Floyd Little during the game, hearing the roar of the crowd knowing something magical had happened.  We had to wait to get to the car to find out what had happened. 

I learned how to work hard from my Dad.  Thank you. 

When Laura was a baby, my Dad would take to her to "Swing, slide" park and push her in the swing for an hour.  If she started to cry when he would try and take her out of the swing, he would continue to push her in the swing. 

Coming home from school when we lived in Castle Rock, I think I was in 3rd grade and my mother had bought a toy robot(Herman the Robot).  This was during the Lost in Space era.  She lovingly made Herman some overalls.  I loved that robot! 

As Laura and Adam grew up, there were swim meets, PTA reflection contests, middle school and high school plays.  My mom was always a source of love,  constancy in Laura and Adam's life.

Memories of sledding in Castle Rock with my sister Jan, taking turns going down the hill next to our elementary school.

Sunday night, coming to your bedroom to  "Gawk".  I have no idea how that started.

Treasured memories of time you spent with Laura and Adam as the worlds coolest Aunt.  

Sue, thank you for the life you gave me, the life before Laura and Adam and the life we shared as a family.   You are my best friend, a constant source of faith and love.   You make my heart leap! It has been a great honor that you chose to share your life with me and I am forever grateful for that gift. 

Pizza hut on Friday nights when we first got married, Chicken A' la Sue, walking up the Crookedest street in the world on our honeymoon, taking the kids to Disney World,  riding the cable car in San Francisco with Laura and Adam in 2000.  Things that you say and do that make me laugh.   "How is a person to know" to start our trip to New York.  The infamous incident at the Paris marathon expo.

Laura and Adam, "you are the best of my life."  Who says that, what's that from?

I treasure the memories of many swim meets, trips to Seattle for sectionals. Watching you compete at something you loved so much. You became my reluctant running partner and the trips to the starting lines and driving back home, moments that have meant so much to me.

Driving halfway to the Georgetown 1/2 marathon only to discover you only had one shoe. 

Having you tie my shoe in a clown bow at the end of my first marathon in San Diego and running a marathon with you 12 years later in Paris. 

Getting to be your friend as an adult.  An intention from Sobfest 2005. 

Adam-Broncos, Nuggets, Rockies games.  

Going to Disneyland with you and Kelly's family in 2001.  A memory I will always treasure. 

Ragtime, three magical days for me.  Hearing your voice resonating during the prologue.
Tender, touching moments that moved the audience. 

The search for the elusive clean game in bowling. 

Seeing you pound the ball past me on the golf course.

Getting to be your friend as an adult. 

Laura and Adam, "you are the best of my life."  Who says that, what's that from?

I have treasured my life with you. I am so honored that you are my children and that we are the best of friends.

To my family, I love you all and I am so grateful to you for the life you shared with me. 

This was really an emotional exercise for me and it really made me present to something I am not always present to. 

So to rewrite a line from my wife's favorite movies:

Clarence "You see Ross, you really had a wonderful life."

Clarence "Strange isn't. Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole doesn't he?"


  1. Powerful and wonderful, Ross.
    Here's to getting it all said...

    Light and love !

  2. You always make me laugh, cry and be inspired... even 29 years later! I am honored and blessed to have you as a partner, friend and witness to my life. And I too treasure all those memories and so many more! Love you! Your Wife....