Friday, July 25, 2008

Randy Pausch, You Will Be Missed

I was thinking about Randy Pausch during my yoga class today. If you've missed Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People or the Oprah show where he appeared, you need to start the hunt for information on this man. He was a professor at Carnegie Mellon. But he would be quick to tell you that he was a husband and father first and then a professor. He also has pancreatic cancer. Put away the hanky because he chides those who feel sorry for him. His motto was probably: Don't cry for me, Argentina, or any other country for that matter. His goal was to live his life to the fullest.

I frequently dedicate my workouts to him as a way to remind me to be thankful for having a healthy body. Because I know that he is dying, I know that he would have loved to have been sweating. He definitely would not have been complaining about having to exercise.

I have been closely following Randy’s progress and have been checking his blog for months and scouring the internet for information on how he was doing. What I found was almost no news. This let me know that he was engaged in the right thing: concentrating on his family during his last days and putting the rest of us to the side. Good choice. Another good lesson for us.

I returned home from the Y and a dear friend let me know that Randy died today. I would love to say that my intuition was at work and that is why I was thinking about him. But the truth is, he has been present in my thoughts for a long time and I have told every single class that I have taught for the last few months about Randy’s story. I wanted everyone to catch his joy and gusto for living.

I have personally purchased 30 copies of his book and give them to friends or acquaintances who needs a boost or simply as gifts. “The Last Lecture’ is a wonderful read and I, for one, feel that Randy left words that will help his children really get a sense of their dad. The rest of us just happened to be the lucky bystanders. If you haven't read this, run, don't walk to your near bookstore (or go online) and get it (or even download it INSTANTLY from iTunes if you are the 'instant gratification type.) You won't be disappointed. Trust me.

And I cannot forget his wife Jai. She stands out in my eyes as a woman who loved her husband to the end and honored her vows of “in sickness and in health.” Randy picked a jewel when he set his sights on winning her heart. She certainly personified grace under fire as she gave a way a lot of her privacy to share her dying husband with the world. I only wished I lived down the street from her so I could make her a dinner or two.

Which reminds me: I may not know Jai, but I do have other friends and acquaintances that are hurting and could use a dinner or two. Thanks, Jai, for this lesson.

Tonight I raise my glass to Randy, Jai, and their adorable children. I love you all and thank you for letting us in the final days of Randy’s life. Randy, your words will live on. And I promise to be more conscious of where my time is going. Time to get off the computer and snuggle with my wonderful husband. Amen.


Jeanette said...

Oh Sharon, I had no idea. I had a very self centered day yesterday, just lots of work stuff and life stuff that kept me out of touch with anything beyond my own little corner. I'm so glad you blogged about him today. The whole family stole my heart last year, when I saw his wonderful "last lecture" on a TV news show that was profiling him. Thanks again Sharon. Ps. If anyone hasn't seen the last lecture, you can see that video on You Tube.

Sharon Lovoy said...

Hey, Jeanette!! Thank you for your heartfelt comments. I can always count on you for honesty. And when the rest of you look at his lecture on You Tube, don't go for the short version; watch the 1 hour one. It will be time well spent!