My phone rang. Caller ID informed me it was Grant, one of my best buds and old roommates from college. Grant and I go back to my very first day at Chico State. He was the first person I met in the dorms, and maybe the most memorable… He was the kind of guy who exuded FUN, never passed up a chance to turn something into a game, and no matter the circumstances- always found a way to enjoy life. Needless to say, we were instant pals.
15 years later, not much has changed. Well, that’s not completely true. Our carefree lifestyle with minimal responsibilities, and eagerness to find the best Thursday night drink special has slowly evolved into wives, kids, mortgages, businesses, and weekly lunch time phone calls from three states away.
It’s funny how things happen…how a series of events and relationships play out; how some things were just meant to be. You might read that, like you’ve read it 100 times before, but it’s true. You see, Grant also has a son. Vance is a two year old stud who happens to have Cystic Fibrosis. The technical definition of Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-threatening genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system. Quick stat- An estimated 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide) have CF. The medication schedule for people with CF varies, but typically is nothing short of a laundry list of prescriptions most of us cannot pronounce. People born with CF are now living into their 30’s and 40’s and beyond.
A little plug for their big upcoming fundraiser- http://www.quitothecure.com/
I know Grant and his amazing wife (Jen) feel blessed to be his parents. Their involvement and advocacy in the CF world is inspiring. Just as they feel lucky to have Vance, I feel lucky to have Grant as we go through our quirky fatherhood trials and tribulations. That, and the reality both of us will most likely outlive our kids. That’s heavy and difficult to write. We never say those words or focus on this unspoken reality, but it’s often the elephant in the room.
I just finished reading The Noticer by Andy Andrews. Similar to the first day I met Grant, I find the book appealing because The Noticer, an old drifter named Jones who has a gift for seeing what others miss; there is no such thing as a dead end. “It only takes a little perspective, he says, to recognize the miracles in our moments, the seeds of greatness tucked into our struggles. That’s what most folks lack-perspective– a broader view.”
My weekly (sometimes bi-weekly) phone chats with Grant circle around perspective. Sure, we have our fair share of rants, gripe sessions, tears, and moments of anger, but we always end up altering each others outlook for the better. I’m thankful to bounce stories and similar situations off of a friend who “get’s it.” Grant plays several roles in our relationship- From Devils advocate to cheerleader to competitor to listener-I’m thankful for them all.
I don’t want to live in a negative mindset… Like a pessimist who thinks the glass is half empty.
Grant often reminds me that we choose not to let the medical jargon, treatments, hospital life, or time-clock beat us down. “Everyday we have the opportunity to start over, and offer everything we have to make our children’s lives that much better…no matter what.” I’m grateful and honored to have Grant a part of my life, a friend who reminds me to look in the mirror and check my perspective.