Sunday, September 27, 2009
Been meaning to write up a blog post about this for some time, but with Labor day, the start of school, family in town, and work travels...just havent had the time. (more on all those things soon) However, got a few minutes between sunday school and church this AM, so I thought I would "make it happen."
One of the greatest things that about this "story" that has happened, is exactly what I think Gloria would have wanted, and that is the fact that this story is being told and re-told over and over. Through the web, through face to face conversations, through blogs, etc.
About a year ago we bit the bullet and got a facebook account. Yes, only 1 year on that mammoth social networking site. In the "rush" that is social networking I began to find old friend from all walks of life..work, family, friends, etc. This included some of the guys that I played baseball back in the day. Since I played from the time was 9/10 all the way through HS, I had the opportunity to know a lot of different guys. One of those guys was Doug Strauss. My memory isnt great, but I distinctly remember being a cool, fun guy..always having a good time and great teammate. Like i have done with many others, I discovered Doug on Facebook and was re-introduced to some things that have happened in his life since baseball days, that I had heard about. His daughter, Gloria (1 of 7 kids) was diagnosed with a rare, uncureable bone cancer. Gloria's story, as well as the story of the entire Strauss family, was chronicled by Times Sports writer Jerry Brewer after he did a story about Kennedy HS basketball (where Doug coaches). Over the course of a year or more, Jerry, who was touched by this family, this litle girl, and her story...spent time with the family and this situation...until the final end, when Gloria passed away. Since that time, Jerry has been working with the Strauss' on his first book that brings their story to life. I wont go into a lot of details, because one of the purposes of this post is to encourage you to get the book and read for yourself.
OK, so I rambled a bit there, how does this related to now....Well, through the FB connection, Doug invited me to the book launch event for "Gloria's Miracle." I had seen it a number of weeks before, but never got it on the calendar. When the day of the event finally came, I just felt called to make it to this event. So, on the way I home, I called Steph and we said let's do it. After grabbing a quick bite to eat, we made it. There we had the chance to see Doug for the first time in probably 20 years...reminace about some of the common friend we have, get a book signed, etc. The main part of the event was to program of personal messages, readings from the book, musical performances, etc. We had to leave a bit early because the kids had school the next day, but we really enjoyed our time.
So, what the big deal...whats the punch line Mike? Couple things. First, you never know what people might come back into your life and for what reason. So, keep an open mind, look at the doors that might be put in front of you and be ready to go through them. Second, the kind of inspiration you get from a little girl that is faced with a life ending illness, but has such a positive faith-focused attitude. Again, i'm not going to go into a lot of detail because you need to read the book...and you can get the "full story" here http://www.gloriasmiracle.com/
It has been a blessing to be able to share Gloria's story and I hope you will take a look.