Memorial Day has passed but its reason for being still hangs on the tail ends of my consciousness this early Tuesday morning – the day after the Memorial Day parade and celebrations.
As we all honored the men and women who died while serving in the military on Monday, I hope the purpose of the day always remains with us. Not only out of respect of our veterans, but so their lives – and death – were not in vain.
I’m not advocating that we always hang our heads low in constant sadness and melancholy. In fact, to do so would feel dishonorable to me. (Of course, there is a time and place for such.) For me, to respect our veterans is to live my life passionately and on purpose with intense focus while working together with others to serve the needs of my community in some way.
That’s the way I always hope to live but there are many times when I let being human get in the way of my idealized goal. When I feel as if I may be faltering a bit, I look for a bit of inspiration. Presently, I’m reading a book entitled, “Life's Bulldozer Moments” by Donato Tramuto and find his words are putting a bee in my pants, motivating me to keep moving forward.
Tramuto is a healthcare innovator and global activist who has worked closely with Saint Joseph’s College as they launch their Institute for Integrative Aging (that includes the Silver Sneakers® program).
Although he has always been a success, Tramuto has been on a fast-track to this focused purpose for 18 years and he lets nothing stand in his way. It was a close call, or what he terms a “bulldozer moment” that sparked his intensity for life.
He was scheduled to be on Flight 175 – the plane that hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center on that dreadful day - September 11, 2001. However, due to a toothache, he rescheduled his flight. His close friends and their four-year-old son who were to travel with him, did not change their flight.
From that experience, he realized life can never be taken for granted and you never know when your time is up – so get on with it amid a zeal you cannot contain.
In my role as writer and editor, I witness this zeal for life among many community members right here in Windham and Raymond. In the midst of the many challenges we face, there are still those who exist - whose individual passion and focus are catching while they integrate it all.
In just one week, I saw that zeal in Mindy Zink’s eyes when I interviewed her for the front-page story. I witnessed it in Sen. Diamond when I shadowed him for my State House series and I felt it with the Windham Christian Academy students as they celebrated Red Nose Day.
So, if you are anything like me and you need a bit of kick in the pants to keep moving forward – all you need to do is look around.
After all, we are obligated to maintain the freedom our veterans have died for. In this case – the freedom to live intentionally, passionately with focus and a zeal you cannot contain.