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Sunday, October 24, 2010

If I Had One More Minute.

For Roger Williams. 

If I had one more minute I’d tell you what it has meant these past five years to have you in my days. I’d tell you all the ways I’ve learned from you. You showed me that someone can actually live their legacy.

If I had one more minute I’d thank you for the children. You simply never retired. Because you believed in our children you fought for their education. You never stopped working to create quality education. I trust your footprints can be seen from heaven.

If I had one more minute I’d tell you how much I loved your strength and how feisty you could get. I loved how you pushed back. Man, we could get each other going. I loved that more than I ever told you. That’s why I wanted you by my side.  That’s why I immediately asked you, the first day we met, if you would help me. 

I loved the way you thought. The way you cared. The way you knew what mattered most. I loved that your family came up in every conversation - your Nancy, your girls, your grandbabies. 

It was such a gift to be around you as you made your difference. You woke up each morning knowing your purpose and everyone that knew you could feel it.  Along with your tan and your golf clubs you carried the contentment we all crave.

You were living the life you loved.

Sure, once a week, you’d tell me you were going to work a little less but you never stepped away.

You stepped in. You dug in. You kept building.

It didn’t matter what got in the way - you kept building for our children.  You gave and gave and gave.

A couple days before you left for New Mexico you stopped by. Normally we’d talk about the last fundraiser or the one coming up; or a donor you had your heart on, or the next endowment we should open.

But, not this last time.

This last time you handed me a letter about legacies and said, “Lex, this is what’s next”.  You told me why you thought things needed to change and what you wanted it to look like. Then you said goodbye and told me you would be home soon.

I didn’t know then that you meant you were going home.

If I had one more minute I’d tell you how truly grateful I am to have spent the last years of your life getting to know you. I feel so lucky I knew you for this part.

You were the good in the world.

In a town far away from my own - you were part of my family here. I miss you already.

I miss all the building we had left to do. I wanted you there.   But, since you created a life that made a difference, since you lived out your legacy everyday, I promise you I will do my best to keep it alive.

I know we all will.