Living Fully Present - 05/21/14

  Every day, even the mundane ones--- Even the 5 degree, dreary winter ones---  Even the manic Mondays--- EVERY DAY is a gift.
  Some times in the hustle and bustle of life we forget this.  I was guilty as charged until attending a celebration this past Saturday for an abbreviated, but well-lived life.
   My friend's daughter had a very short battle with cancer.  Lauren Ashley Williams was only 27.  A beautiful spirit, inside and out, with loads of talent bursting at the seams.  Lauren was diagnosed with a small cell, rare, little known cancer last fall while she was in New York pursuing her dream of acting.  She was doing so well there, finding every opportunity and getting recognized for her God given ability.  
     She was so determined to reach her goals, she was going to ride the Subway to her day long chemo treatments for days on end.  Her parents convinced her to come back home to Nashville for treatments so they could help her. 
   I think back to where I was at 27.  Just getting married.  Lauren doesn't get to. Into my 30's, I was reaching career milestones.  Lauren doesn't get to.  Mid 30's--- I was blessed with children.  Lauren doesn't get to. 
   A day or so before she was moved to hospice, the doctor told her there was nothing more they could do.  Lauren gracefully said, "Well, that's your opinion.  I'm going to keep fighting."  Her fight for life should remind us all to appreciate ours. 
    Lauren had true grit.  Lauren had dreams.  Lauren had determination.  Lauren was living fully present, not just some days--- every day.
    I challenge you, and myself, to walk in Lauren's footsteps and pick up where she left off. 


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Last Update on October 08, 2015 09:35 GMT


PAUL SMITHS, N.Y. (AP) -- It takes more than money to get a college named after you. A New York judge is blocking a name change for an upstate school. Paul Smith's College was to become Joan Weill-Paul Smith's College. The school's board of trustees voted over the summer to rename the college in exchange for a $20 million donation from Weill. She's the wife of Wall Street billionaire Sanford Weill. But alumni objected, saying it set a bad precedent. The judge, in rejecting the name change, cites the will of the founding donor.


HONOLULU (AP) -- Call it hump day in Hawaii - but not because it was a Wednesday. Officials say the first humpback whales of the year have been spotted in the waters off of Hawaii. Researchers sighted the first whale about a week ago. A second was spotted a few days later. Ships and boaters are being warned to steer clear of the endangered sea mammals. Humpbacks normally arrive in November and stay through May. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates about 10,000 humpbacks winter in Hawaii each year.


WACO, Texas (AP) -- That was no moose in Waco. A man reported a moose near the downtown area of the Texas city yesterday morning. Turns it was a bull elk that kept authorities on the run for hours. Police, game wardens and animal control officers finally captured the elk after it was hit by a tranquilizer dart. The bull elk was taken to a heard on a nearby ranch. It was estimated to be 2 years old and around 600 pounds. Officials are still stumped as to where the elk came from.


HOUSTON (AP) -- Fly happy! That's the aim of officials at Houston's Hobby Airport. Art work for the new international concourse is being chosen partly for the ability to help make travelers feel happier. Next to a ticket counter is Libbie Masterson's blue mirror-mosaic piece titled "Ethereal Sky." Travelers will walk past a "field" of colorful flowers and grasses printed on aluminum panels -- Krista Birnbaum's "Roadside Attraction." Houston airport system curator Tommy Gregory tells the Houston Chronicle the art is "meant to ease your transition."

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