You Can Leave Home (November 2008)

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November 2008

You Can Leave Home

You were warned. This past May in the first edition of The Edge, I had communicated that every once in awhile, the content would venture from the world of leadership development and talent management into other areas. This edition is going to be one of those “off-road” trips.

[Early August 2007] “Dad, how about we come visit you this Thanksgiving? We’ll all converge on you and Mom.” In keeping with my Dad’s typically quiet, unassuming demeanor he said, “Well, that sounds real good.” Translated from Dad-speak, he was actually saying, “Wow son, I would totally love to see you all. This is great. It really gives me something to look forward to!” And there was something else. One more unspoken, dreaded thought I wish weren’t there, “and son, I am truly sorry but this looks like it’s going to be my last Thanksgiving.”

We traveled up to the Dayton, Ohio area and my sister and her family gathered as well. We had everybody there. A photo album kind of a day. In the early evening, we gathered around the TV and watched a CD photo slideshow that my sister had put together of photographs from my Dad’s early years and his family as well as photographs of the early years of our young family. You should have seen his face. I believe it shone brighter than the TV screen itself. It was one of the best days of his life. Mine too.

What’s unique about Thanksgiving is that it’s often more about the gift of your travel and your time than any other kind of gift. Memories over money. Home over “Ho-ho-ho.” Don’t get me wrong, Christmas is terrific and possesses a special quality all its own. Perhaps it’s fitting though, that Thanksgiving falls first on the holiday season calendar as a way of establishing a sense of priority. Many things about which to be thankful, really.

So, as I count my blessings, I consider you. The distribution list for The Edge is filled with special professionals and friends. Thank you for your partnership and your friendship.

One last thing. My first hero passed away in mid January this year, not quite two months after our last Thanksgiving together. Words cannot express how thankful I am that we made that special trip back home. It will always be with me.

Someone once said, “You can leave home – but home never really quite leaves you.” Aren’t you glad?

Have an unforgettable and happy Thanksgiving 2008.


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