An Unexpected Moment

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I love airports. They’re always bustling with activity. You know what they’re also filled with?

People on a journey.

Not just a departure and arrival journey but also a journey in life. Each and every person is on a personal journey that is as unique as the person.

I surveyed the Chili’s Too that has been in Concourse A for as long as I’ve been flying to see if there is a hostess or where I should sit to eat some lunch before I get on the plane.

“You can sit here if you’d like.”

Her words broke the silence and caught my attention. My kind waitress greeted me with a smile and gestured towards an open seat at the bar.

I sat down and began to look through the menu. It wasn’t much longer when someone came to sit next to me. I looked over and smiled at the woman. Clearly a Buckeye fan with her “365 Days We Bleed Scarlet and Gray” shirt on.

She placed her bar order and the waitress asked, “Double?”

“Why not! It’s the last day of vacation.” She said with a grin.

We chuckled together and I said, “Well, if it is the last day of vacation then you might as well end it with a bang! This opened up the opportunity to begin to share. We talked about where we were respectively from. Where we’re traveling. Why we’re traveling.

“Where are you off to?” I think my shorts and tee shirt gave it away that I wasn’t off on business.

“I’m on my way to Atlanta to help a friend and his family move from Atlanta to San Antonio.” I said very nonchalantly.

I looked up from the menu and she looked a little perplexed why my friend was having someone from Ohio help him move.  So I kept talking,

“In February he was diagnosed suddenly with Brain Cancer and has decided to move to San Antonio where his parents live. He had a seizure and can’t drive temporarily so I’m going to be driving their second car.”

There was silence. Something I had shared in my story had clearly touched this lady sitting next to me.

“You are such a great friend.” She managed to stammer out still sitting there a bit in shock at my story.

“You know, one of the kids in my class at school where I teach, his dad was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. It reminds me that life is short.”

She made some joke about making the most of every day with her double drink.

I looked at her and said, “This year I’ve learned the value of making moments count. After one of my best friends lost his little brother unexpectedly and my friend Scott being diagnosed with cancer, I vow to make the most of every day.”

She paused and I’d like to think that something I said in there resonated with her.

At this point a third had joined our group and we began to talk about work and his interesting life on the road as a truck driver.

The three of us, all unknown strangers, laughed together, shared stories, talked about our past and present, and for a few minutes all of our unique journeys intersected. We had a moment. As fast as it began it was time for us to part ways.

The gentleman wished me well in my travels and took off for his gate. The lady who first sat down stopped and waited for me to turn to look at her.

“You are a great friend. Please let your friend and his family know that they’re in my thoughts.”

She then paused and looked at me for a moment. You could tell she was contemplating saying something else so I didn’t say anything but wasn’t sure how I would react… I just waited in the moment.

“I am going to pray for him and for your travel. Be safe in your travels and on your drive to San Antonio.”

I said thank you and told her that I would pass along the message and with that the moment was over and we were off to our respective gates.

You know what I find so interesting about this small interaction? If I would have eaten somewhere else, been to the airport an hour later, not sat at the bar, not said anything to her etc… that moment would have never happened.

Was just a nice way to start my journey this week and I felt I should share it with you all.

Until next time!
John

I started on a journey

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RHYTHMinTWENTY — TheExperience from Harbor Ministries on Vimeo.

Last week I started on a three year journey with 26 other men. Working on processing everything and starting to find my own Rhythm. You’ll see more from me as the next three years progresses. Look for the Category “RHYTHMinTWENTY” here to find out more.

A ton has been going on and I just haven’t had time to write. Taking a huge road trip this week to help Scott and Tracy move cross country. Be on the lookout for those updates!

Night!
John

Gray Matters to Me

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688,096

The number of people estimated to be living with a brain tumor diagnosis in 2010

69,720

The number of people that were estimated to be diagnosed with brain cancer in 2013

2

The number of people I know personally diagnosed with brain cancer today

May is National Brain Cancer Awareness month. Gray is the official color of brain cancer awareness. Two things that I just recently learned.

John and John

John and John

You see, my life (and the lives of many others) was changed this year. Not only has my friend John Looker continued to battle with brain cancer but my good friend Scott was diagnosed in March with GBM (a type of brain cancer).After a scare and emergency brain surgery in February, Scott has been undergoing radiation and chemo treatments. He just finished up his first round of treatment with minimal side effects and continue to press on as the doctors determine the next steps.

As you may (or may not) know – cancer has already taken one of my best friends from me, Katy. While her death was hard on me, I’ll admit that since her death I’ve lived with an attitude of almost, “It won’t happen again to anyone else I know.”

Me and Scott

Me and Scott

Three years later and my friend Scott was rushed to the hospital and found to have a brain tumor with no previous symptoms or warnings. Reality set in that day that no one is immune to his horrible disease and directly or indirectly it’s going to be a part of your life. Maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow but sometime in your lifetime I feel that we all are going to come across this horrible disease.

I’m not a doctor, nurse, researcher or medical professional. I’m just a guy. So I do what I can to help? I do my best to raise awareness about cancer and I donate money to support research to end this disease. I ride my bicycle 180 miles in two days not only to raise money and awareness but to remind myself that no matter how hard I struggle with that ride that it pales in comparison for what someone with cancer goes through. I try and support both of my friends in whatever way I can and be the best friend I can be to them (and subsequently their family, friends and significant others).

What can you do?

  • Go hug your friends, family, and loved ones and tell them that you love them. You never known in an instant when life might change
  • Donate to my Pelotonia Ride at: http://www.pelotonia.org/massie
  • Donate to help my friend Scott’s family cover medical expenses: https://fundly.com/teamscott
  • Support local efforts around cancer research and treatments
  • Wear some gray this month and let someone know about brain cancer awareness month

Together we can send this horrible disease once and for all.

All my best,
Massie