What Are The Odds?

To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible. – Thomas Aquinas

Mom, Me and Cake

I must admit, I was down to the wire when it came to writing and posting my last blog for 2014. I knew I wanted to commemorate mom’s 95th birthday which was on Christmas day, and yet I really didn’t have a concept in mind. The only thing I had going on in my head was the image of Father Time trying to hand off his duties to a mere child. I had to work fast!

TICK TICK TICK was reverberating throughout my entire body. How could anyone write a blog with this much pressure and racket going on?

TICK TICK TICK.

TICK TICK TICK.

My goal … beat Father Time before he beats me and the kid takes over. Stop that damn TICK TICK TICK any way I could became my battle cry. So, I came up with what was a bit of a cop out. It would be down and dirty and hopefully somewhat engaging.

I took mom’s age … added it to mine … subtracted the total from 2014 … and came up with the year 1848. Then, I googled “what happened in the USA in 1848”.

The TICK TICK TICK provided the back-beat as I quickly read Wikipedia’s answers.

Before I share, don’t tune out until you read the last one.

TICK: Discovery of gold prompted the California Gold Rush

TICK: Construction began on the Washington Monument

TICK: Gas lights were installed in the US Capital

TICK: Wisconsin was admitted as the 30th U.S. state

TICK: Zachary Taylor was elected President of the United States

TICK: John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States from 1825 till 1829 (born 1767), passed away

TICK: The Shaker song Simple Gifts was written by Joseph Brackett in Alfred, Maine

STOP THE CLOCK!

This last entry wouldn’t even connect with most people, but to me, it meant everything.

What are the odds? The very first blog I wrote on May 22nd, 2011 was titled “A Gift to Be Simple” and featured the lyrics from Simple Gifts.

What are the odds? My mom’s and sister’s favorite song was Simple Gifts. They learned it while cutting silhouettes of Shakers (past and present) in Shaker Village, Pleasant Hill Kentucky. They sang the song all the time … it was not only their favorite song, it was their mantra.

What are the odds? On July 30th, 2011, I wrote another blog titled “By Turning, Turning We Come Round Right” … part of the lyrics to, you guessed it, Simple Gifts.

It featured a video of my mom, sister and me singing Simple Gifts. It is one of my greatest treasures, because my sister passed away of Alzheimer’s at only 64 years old in April of 2011.

What are the odds? This was the last video ever taken of my sister.

What started out as a desperate and arbitrary attempt to beat Father Time at his own game had me weeping.

Without warning, time went into rewind mode.

It was Christmas day. Mom was on the receiving end of her cake. It featured two candles … the numbers 9 and 5.  Mom’s 93rd birthday was the last for individual candles … after that year’s experience, we felt any more candles would be a fire hazard, especially in her house that was built in 1796.

What are the odds? Mom has lived to be 95! But, if you ask her, she’ll say she is six, ten or twenty-two.

What are the odds that mom’s two granddaughters (my daughters), her two son-in-laws, six great grandchildren and my wife and I would all be here … on her actual birthday to celebrate with her?

2014-12-26 13.34.52

Happy birthday, Mom!

Fast forward … Happy New Year, everybody!

 

About Tom Laughon

Tom Laughon (Pronounced Lawn) is President of Catch Your Limit, an organization whose sole purpose is to guide and grow leaders. His journey from lead singer in a rock-n-roll band, to a successful career in marketing & advertising to consultant, strategist, keynote speaker, facilitator, professor and writer is a fascinating one. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Tom and his team guide organizations, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies to national associations, to "catch their limit" in areas such as leadership development, creativity, innovation, teaming and transformational change. His commitment to "practice what he preaches" has made Catch Your Limit a petri dish for round-the-clock discovery and learning. The firm's brand reflects Tom's personal brand: Fun, Inspirational, Strategic & Hot!

5 responses »

  1. Always love to read your comments! Happy Birthday Mrs. Laughon. You look wonderful and so do the girls. Sorry I missed talking with you on Christmas. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and best wishes for 2015.

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    • Chris, Chris, Chis … you are not only one of my most favorite people on this planet, you are mom’s and my Number One Blog Fan … stats don’t lie! No one comments more, reaches out more, or means more to me than you. And, this isn’t just confined to 2014 … this is for as long as I have known you. The Laughon family is blessed to have had our paths cross with yours all those many years ago. You’re caring, love and support has meant the world to all of us. Thanks Chris! Thanks for being you!

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  2. I have loved the song Simple Gifts since I sang it in chorus in 5th grade. What special memories! I did not know you had a blog…now I want to read more! Happy New Year!
    Marshall Gordon

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  3. Happy Birthday to your Mom and a very happy new year to you and yours.

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  4. Simple Gifts of “time” we most often neglect to share with people we love the most.

    Thank you for taking the time to share.

    Keep it coming!

    Thanks, Lee

    Pls excuse typos sent from my iPhone

    >

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