August 18, 2009

Gaining Some Perspective

We are all busy. Day in, day out. The grind, the rush, the pressure, the traffic, etc., etc. Out of the blue though, life sometimes throws us that curve ball that forces us to reflect... if sometimes only for just a minute. This past weekend was the start of one of those times for me.

Twenty-one years ago this week, my little brother was diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoma. It was a shock to everyone that this strong, vibrant, outgoing boy could be hit with something as serious as this as he turned 10. It was tough for my family, and it was hard for me as a 15 year old to see my little brother struggle while he smiled the whole time.

Those times and years changed me. I saw not just my brother but the other kids and their siblings and parents go through some difficult times. Birthdays and Christmases at the hospital. Sneaking in barbecue. Pool, video games, and cards while receiving medication. The list could go on, but you get the drift.

In a strange twist of fate, the executive director of an organization started by one of my brother's doctors lives right across the street from me. Almost 20 years after my little brother finished with treatment, I am still reminded of it every now and then, and that is a good thing. It levels me.

I know I usually focus on your own finances, but when possible, do not forget to give back a bit. There is no set amount or percentage that is necessary, but the feeling you receive for helping a worthy cause just warms the heart.

Oh, and best of all... my little brother turns 31 this week... Happy Birthday Brad.

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