A Footprint, A ripple, A Ding…what’s your impact?

I will be the first to admit I usually do not get caught up in all the hullabaloo when a celebrity  dies. Frankly, most of them are not the types of role models I would want for my kids anyway. My brother said it best on Facebook today……

“I wonder what this world would be like if people paid as much attention to every soldier, firefighter, cop, or medic killed serving their country or community, as much as people care about Steve jobs or whatever other big name has passed? Don’t get me wrong, He was a great man, I don’t much care for apple as the company is today, but he was indeed a visionary and a driven man, however, my point remains. Oh well, at least he was famous for something beyond being famous, perhaps now we can stop hearing about the Michael Jackson trial??” ~D.C.S.

and I agree with him…well mostly.  This was my response on Facebook: “I agree with you 100% Kiddo! The main reason I even KNOW who Steve Jobs is ( yeah, ok I admit I am not a techie) is because of the HUGE Impact He made on the Non verbal…Autism community…His work has given so many who didn’t have it before a voice, especially in the past couple of years with the introduction of the I-pad and the apps that have been proven to reach kids with disabilities like never before…and for that, this momma is forever thankful. and yes, to stop hearing about the Michael Jackson trial would be nice! LOL”

But it goes deeper than that.  As a whole, our sense of priorities is Topsy turvy. The media drones on to exhaustion about this celebrity or that….but we don’t ever hear about all the unsung heros, the true role models, soldiers, firefighters, cops, or medics, and maybe they prefer it that way? after all part of what makes them such excellent role models is that MOST of them will tell you in a heartbeat “I am no hero, I was just doing my job”.

All this got me thinking about the impact we leave behind. My thoughts turned to my Godfather, Keith Raymond Handy, who went home to be with our Father in heaven  in January 1993 after 66 years (12/26/26-1/29/93).  It has been 18 years, and yet the impacts this man of Faith had on my life are still there. The Value of a good strong hug ( not one of those small squeezes, but a good bear hug), and a smile, the importance of prayer, and the value of family. His death was one of the hardest I have ever had to face, and did not face for the longest time. I was a senior in High school at the time, and I did not know HOW to deal with it. I locked it away.

This brings me to the next role model whose death I had to face, My grandpa Settle who went home to Heaven in February of 2006. Grandpa’s “footprint on my heart” is HUGE.  The memories go deep. A Love of all things History, a true understanding of “His eye is on the Sparrow”, The value of a kind word and a smile to brighten somebodies day. I can remember thinking to myself after my husband and I got married, and I saw my grandpa still looking at my grandmother like he looked at her in the photos I had seen of their wedding day, was “wow, I want THAT…a love for the ages, a Marraige that can stand the trials of life and the test of time.” truly a rare thing these days….

Now, it is 2009…and I am faced again with saying goodbye, to my other grandpa. This man taught me the value of the spoken word, the joy of a game like chess or scrabble, and the value of making time to sit for hours and work on a puzzle with someone, that the reward is not the end result of the game or puzzle, but the time spent.

You see, it’s all about how we LIVE, that effects what we leave behind. My thoughts travel to a young man who left his mark on the world in a HUGE way. He was taken home to be with God at the young age of  21.  His lifesong is still singing…His witness for Christ still shining. He is deeply missed by all who knew and love him, but at the age of 21, he had already made such a HUGE Impact on this world.

All this brings me back around to Steve Jobs. Why do I even take notice? what makes him different than any other “celebrity”?  I take notice because this man, and his company have made a way, via technology for parents of children with special needs to communicate, to bridge a gap that for whatever reason exists on a communication level.  He left an impact, a footprint because he has given to families who may never hear a spoken word from their child, a way to communicate, Apps to make their lives a little bit easier ( and ok, yes, I know , The I-pad and its apps may be out of reach for some…my own kid included) but, that doesn’t change the impact this has had on the community at large.

“Almost everything–

all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–

these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know

to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.

There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

–Steve Jobs

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

~~Steve Jobs~~

To the Charlie Sheens and Lindsy Lohans of this world…..stay away from my kids, they don’t need role models like you. I will do everything I can to keep them grounded, to teach them the value of a smile, a kind word, a prayer and a hug, to remind them that its the Soldiers, Firemen, Cops, and Medics who keep us safe, it’s the Farmers who work tirelessly, its common everyday people who give their all. It’s the dreamers like Steve Jobs, and Albert Einstein, Brahms and Mozart, who truly make a difference and will be long remembered. To quote My Friend Jess over at DOAM: “Steve once said, “I want to put a ding in the universe.” I hope as he closed his eyes last night, he left us knowing that he did. He sure  did.” What’s Your impact?

This is my prayer for my own life…

“I may not be every mother’s dream for her little girl
And my face may not grace the mind of everyone in the world
But thats alright as long as I can have one wish, I pray
When people look inside my life, I wanna hear them say

She’s got her father’s eyes
Her father’s eyes
Eyes that find the good in things
When good is not around
Eyes that find the source of help, when help just can’t be found
Eyes full of compassion, seein’ every pain
Knowing what you’re going through, and feelin’ it the same

Just like my father’s eyes
my father’s eyes
my father’s eyes
Just like my father’s eyes

On that day when we will pay for all the deeds we’ve done
Good and bad they’ll all be had to see by everyone
And when you’re called to stand and tell just what you saw in me
More than anything I know, I want your words to be

She had her father’s eyes, her father’s eyes
eyes that found the good in things when good was not around
eyes that found the source of help when help would not be found
Eyes full of compassion, seein’ every pain
Knowin’ what you’re goin’ through and feelin it the same

Just like my father’s eyes,
My father’s eyes,
My father’s eyes,
Just like my father’s eyes,
My father’s eyes,
My father’s eyes”~Amy Grant

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes…

the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules…

You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them,

but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things…

they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones,

we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world,

are the ones who do.”

~Steve Jobs~

Rest in Peace

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