Four years ago (and 1 day) my world came to a complete halt.
Four years ago (and one day) all I could say over and over again was: “Ok Thom. Ok Thom. Ok Thom. Ok Thom. Ok Thom…”
Four years ago (and one day) I sat on the edge of my bed and did not know what to do; did not know how to breathe; did not know how to begin…again.
48 hours ago I wrote: “You made us better.” You = George Parks. And he did, in fact, make ALL of us better–those who were part of his world, as well as those who ARE part of his world via the next generation. But “Dr.” Rob Hammerton was correct in his post–we are (I am) quiet and pensive….and contemplative.
Rob inferred that many of “us” are quiet and pensive on this fourth anniversary of the passing of a man whom we admired, relied upon, were devoted to, etc….and Rob was correct. Perhaps we’ve “moved on,” made an attempt to accept reality, decided that it was “ok,” chose to live our lives without…..or perhaps we have simply all taken a collective deep breath and accepted that WE “are what’s happening now….” Once upon a time a young man named Robbie Jones wrote those words in George’s high school yearbook. That George Parks was what was “happening now…” that “Robbie Jones was gone.” Maybe some of us took that deep breath and realized that the best way to honor our teacher, mentor, friend and cohort was to take the reins in hand and “really make it happen.”
…and I have to believe that many of us are doing just that.
This does NOT mean he is forgotten…quite the contrary! This means we are more cautious in our decisions–taking the time to weigh all the options. This means we look at every situation from every possible perspective before choosing a path. This means we LISTEN and we CONSIDER as many approaches and outcomes as we can conceive before putting our plan into action—so that the needs of the MANY are met. This is what he taught us.
As Rob wrote so eloquently, “It’s not me…it’s not me…IT’S THEM!” For me, it will always be them…the band. For them to experience 10% of what I did when I was their age–THAT is priceless. For them to unload upon an audience or to play a heart-wrenching phrase and to SEE the audience explode with excitement or settle with pure emotional solemnness, THAT is more important to me than anything else–for they learn that it is not just about THEM, but about the impact they have upon others. Those moments allow me to standby and laugh or sigh at the purity of it all. What better tribute is there to a man who taught me to stop, be patient, and recognize the best in those around me.
So we move on. We do not turn our back on the past, on what made us better. We take a collective deep breath and do what we do best…what we were taught to do. We are quiet and pensive….and contemplative in thoughts and decisions…because he would want us to be just that.
And ultimately the bottom line is this, he made us better…and we will make the next generation better. He would have wanted it that way.