I am a blessed man…
Both of the kids have been active in leadership development programs and activities since they were in the fifth grade. For Abby it was FCA, Scouts, 4-H, Perfectly Polished and Hero Club to name a few (I can’t remember all of them). As for Matt it has been Scouts, 4-H, Perfectly Polished and FFA (he has not been as active as Abby). All of these programs and activities have something in common, they promote leadership skills in one way or another. Additionally from time to time these programs require public speaking commitments. Matt has followed the good examples that Abby provided for him and now he also has been elected to serve as a board member for the North East Georgia 4-H district.
He will attend his Georgia Officer Training this coming week and is expected to give a speech on how 4-H has changed his life. He has been working on his speech at our main computer that is in sight just off the living room. This is a shared computer and we don’t allow password protected access. This means that, if I feel the need, I can see what he has been up to on the computer. Yeah, you can call it snooping, if you like, but I call it being a good parent.
Anyhow, when I sat down at the computer last night he had left his speech open. Yes… I read it! Like I said, being a good parent includes spying on your child as needed. That’s my position and there is nothing that anyone can say to change my mind on the matter so don’t bother sending me an e-mail to the contrary. When I read his speech, I was shocked by what I read and at the same time very proud of him. In fact, I was moved deeply by what I read. When you hear what he wrote you will understand why I am so proud. It is going to take a considerable amount of courage to get up in front of the whole assembly of fellow 4-Hs and talk about what he is going to talk about.
Here’s the thing. Matt always road to and from school with Lisa. The day of the wreck that claimed my beautiful Lisa’s life, Matt was supposed to be with her. That’s right, he was supposed to be in the car with Lisa at the time of the wreck. In fact when I got the call about Lisa the first question I asked was “what about Matt”. I was so stunned and shaken, it took me a few minutes to work out in my mind where Matt was. You cannot imagine how frantically I was trying to process this one detail. Then it dawned on me, he was at a 4-H meeting with his sister. That’s right, Abby had invited him to come to her senior 4-H meeting that very day. Matt was probably the only middle schooler at this meeting. Abby knew that Lisa was going to get her hair done after school that day so she offer to let her little brother tag along so that he would not have to sit through his mother’s hair appointment. My son would have surely been killed or at the very least severely injured had he been in the car. I say this because the initial impact was on the passenger side of Lisa’s car just forward of the passenger’s seat.
That is what he has in his speech... He says that 4-H saved his life because if he had not been at 4-H that day he would probably have died in the accident. He goes on to say how his involvement in after school 4-H programs has given him an escape from having to come home after school and be alone every day for the last nearly two years. Granted, that is not the speech in its entirety but that is it in a nut shell.
So, yes I was shocked and proud when I read this. I did not know he felt this way and I did not know that he had made this link between the accident and the 4-H meeting that day. As far as I can recall, we never discussed it, at least as far as I can recall. Also, this is probably the first time that I have recounted these facts except to maybe one or two close family members and friends.
I feel that for him to give this speech is truly courageous and he will need to dig deep within himself for the courage he will need. I know he will do a wonderful job and I wish that I could be there to hear the speech myself. Pray for Matt next week while he is at his training. Pray for him to have the strength to give his speech in a way that would make his mother proud.
I am truly blessed…
- Chris Anderson
- Watkinsville, Georgia, United States
- We lost my beautiful wife of 20 years on 9/12/07. Lisa was my world she was my everything and now she is gone. We are learning to live without Lisa now. I say we because I am not alone. My children are stuck in this mess with me. These are my notes, my vent, my way of letting you all know that we are doing well (some days). This is for myself, my friends and my family that want to know how we are doing and what we are up to. Along the way I hope this might also help someone else who has been dealt a similar hand.