For the last several months, I have been privileged to share many stories about the love of my life, Maureen, and our journey together these past 26 years. Not long before my sweetie passed on Tuesday, October 21, 2014, we had reflected on the fact that we had passed the “half-way” point. We had spent more of our individual lives together than we had spent without each other. If you asked either one of us point blank, though, we’d both tell you we feel like we had been together forever. That is the beautiful thing about eternity and love. I am me, because she was she. With the wild and crazy storms the last few days in Austin, these words from Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s “Closer to Believing” seem appropriate:
After 7 months, I am coming to grips with the reality that I will not be together with my sweetie in the physical world again, riding the storms of love, but I do feel closer than forever. Assuming my Lord grants me a normal lifespan, I’m about to spend at least the next 26 years without Maureen, just like I spent the last 26 years with her. That is an incredibly sobering thought, sobering because I love her so very, very much. With all our kids to school this morning, I was back at our house alone for a bit, and I cried thinking about all of this. However, as I sat looking at Maureen’s pictures, something started to stir. Maureen knows me like no other, and I got that “doing” feeling that I get when she is busy inspiring me. Like I have written previously, I was feeling provoked. Parts 1 and 2 of I Have Been Provoked are worth a read, if you haven’t done so already. At this point, though, you may be thinking, what does all of this have to do with a “Powdered Donut Manifesto?”
For those that already know of the powdered donut, you know the powder represents the love sprinkled on all of us… I talk more about the donut here and its symbolism in our journey. I will keep writing stories about the powder of love and the love of my life, Maureen, however, as things stirred within me this morning, I heard my sweetie’s voice, that soft and gentle voice, which could always guide me like no other. I realized this morning that I must now do what my kids are doing, look forward, while still remembering.
I was struck by these words from a post by my friend, Scott Saxe, on Facebook yesterday, reflecting on Memorial Day: “It is not enough just to remember, we must honor the memory.” The Powdered Donut Manifesto is just that, honoring the memory. It is how I intend to not just honor the memory but take specific actions that will sprinkle love with every action I take. It is also not just about me. As I said at a recent event I keynoted in San Diego, “We don’t have to do everything. We just have to do our one thing. And if each of us does our one thing, then we can indeed change everything.” All of us, acting uniquely, yet together, are all that is needed to change the world.
To be honest the other reason for writing a manifesto is not just because such a title seems so sexy and bold, but because it commits me. It commits me to honoring Maureen by doing what she knew I loved so much, speaking, writing, and thinking about and creating a future without cancer. The next few parts of the manifesto will outline a few of these things, along with more insights on my efforts to bring the book, The Love of My Life, to reality. It is time to sprinkle some love and powder the future.