The Powdered Donut Manifesto | 21 …7…217

The Powdered Donut Manifesto | 21 …7…217

Where in New Jersey? Ridgewood. That is in Bergen County he said… but I already knew. We had a few minutes before our conference call was to begin yesterday morning. I always like to ask where people are, physically, because even though we are voices on a phone, we are still somewhere. Well, that is true for those of us on this side of heaven. For those of us on the other side of heaven, like my beloved Maureen, she shows up in the most interesting of places. She also shows up at the important moments, those moments where her presence is a reminder, a reminder of not only her love but a reminder to me that I am following my own path of love. As an entrepreneur, husband and father, those reminders are important. My last post in the Powdered Donut Manifesto series was June 30, 2017 on the girls and my way to New York, actually. We were headed to New York City for the 4th of July weekend. We were not only going to celebrate, enjoy, and visit special places, but we were also headed to the Statue of Liberty for a special moment of remembrance. As I have written previously, the Statue of Liberty is a special place. It is where I proposed to Maureen during the 4th of July weekend in 1989. I remember the moment vividly and described it to my girls in detail as we walked around Liberty Island together last year. One can no longer walk directly up to the pedestal where Maureen and I had sat on the grass, where I...

Cancer Sucks | Kyla Thompson

I am privileged to be the father of three amazing kids, Taylor (19), Kyla (16), and Katelyn (almost 14). These three kiddos are the products of the love Maureen and I shared over almost 25 years of marriage, prior to her passing after an on-and-off 11 year battle with breast cancer on the morning of October 21, 2014. Every so often they share something with me they have written as part of a school project. The following was written by Kyla earlier this spring for her English class, part of an advocacy project. As a dad, I hate that my kids don’t have their mom. But their love for her shows itself in all that they do and all that they write. I love you Kyla. Thank you for letting me share this gift of your writing with others. Thank you also for the pictures you chose for me to include. I had not remembered the one of you and mom on the couch, the weekend before her passing. Friends, this image captures the essence of Kyla’s word. They say a picture is worth a 1000 words. When you see it, you will know that cancer does indeed suck. Cancer Sucks. Cancer sucks. Plain and simple. Cancer takes more than 7.6 million people away from their families and friends each year. Likewise, 12.6 million people discover they have cancer each year. That is not fair. No one should ever have to go through that. Those words, “you have cancer” are three of the hardest words one can ever hear. My family heard those words in the spring of 2004. People...

The Powdered Donut Manifesto | 21 and a Cup of Dirt

21. “Once in a Lifetime.” A cup of dirt. You might wonder what any of these things have to do with a powdered donut or the fight with cancer for that matter, but they do. I’m on a flight from Minneapolis to New York City, and now seems like a really good time to add to the Powdered Donut Manifesto series (story of the powdered donut). Last Sunday, I flew up to Minneapolis with Kyla and Katelyn, our 2 precious daughters born from the love I shared with Maureen for almost 25 years of marriage. Kyla’s team, Austin Performance 15 Asics, was playing in the American division of the Girl’s National Junior Volleyball tournament. It was a fun week. Being a Texan, the idea that the highs were only in the 70s was a blessing in itself, but the time was precious for other reasons. Maureen was reminding us frequently that the line between heaven and earth is thin… I’ve written about “thin spaces” previously and explained the concept in this post.  One of the “thin spaces” that happened this week was at a Whataburger in Phoenix as my son, Taylor (18), and four of his high school friends, stopped for a “healthy” snack on their way to Yosemite to hike up Half Dome and explore the many other trails and falls there. As he made his order, he was handed this number to set on his table. 21. 21 is a pretty magic number for those that know our story. For you see, Maureen passed on the morning of October 21, 2014. Rather than allow this day, this...

The Powdered Donut Manifesto | Sometimes Your #onething is 2

I felt a weird tug. An instinct. Something said call. I left a message. After peeking at my friend’s Facebook page, though, I realized I had to call back. Before going any deeper into the next few minutes that unfolded on my phone call this past Friday morning, though, I need to back up a little bit. For folks that know me, you know that the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (the LLS) and Team in Training are big parts of who I am. These gifts came into my life because of my love for a little boy, Kethan, a little boy that should be finishing 9th grade with my daughter, Kyla. I met he and his family at the beginning of 1st grade at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School here in Austin. My life was forever changed, not just because he was fighting leukemia, but because he was a truly special human being. All who interacted with him were changed by him. His passing in the summer of 2013 left a huge hole in too, too many lives. Life is precious. Life is a gift beyond measure. His life changed mine, and because of the LLS, my life has been enriched by the many, many people I have met on my bike, at galas, and at meetings, like the one in Orlando several years ago. We were at a reception at Seaworld in Orlando. This was the site of our Volunteer Leadership Conference for the LLS that year. As my kids know, I love talking to people. I love people because I love life, and people are a gift. I...

Journey to Thailand | Day Five 5.2.2017 | Taylor Thompson

Smiles. The window into someone’s life. The doorway into a person’s happiness. A snapshot. A snippet. A moment. These are the moments we glance over most often. Forget. Disregard. For one little girl in Thailand, these moments are all she has. This little girl skips. She runs down the street. She watches eagerly. She helps pass the pails. She wears a yellow shirt. And a red skirt. For now, she has no name. To us, she is the girl who smiles. Her situation doesn’t faze her. It doesn’t envelop her. It strengthens her. She is able to find so much in so little. The positive in the negative. Beauty in rubble. Peace in discord. When I look at her, I cannot help but smile myself. I can not help but cry. Not because I feel shame for my “privilege”. Not because I feel like I am not doing enough. Like I’m not being enough. Like I’m not enough. Because I am enough. She is enough. We are all enough. We don’t have to be anything more than we are. As Theodore Roosevelt says in his “Citizenship in a Republic” speech: It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming, but who does actually strive to do the...