Today, I am thankful for two special people: Kirby Puckett and Dana Reeve.
All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated... No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. ~ John Donne
While in Minneapolis to attend a sales conference in 1987, I had the privilege of watching Kirby Puckett play in the "Homer Dome" against the California Angels. I will always remember the announcer's introduction: "Here's Kirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrbyyyyyyyyyy Puckett!" I became an instant Kirby Puckett fan. I also fell in love with the Twins and rooted for them during the 1987 and 1991 World Series (which they won). I am a diehard National League fan so it was quite unusual for me to support an American League team. I was shocked to learn of his stroke and subsequent death. Kirby Puckett was only 45 years old when he died yesterday.
I never met Dana Reeve - just know her because of her famous husband and her work supporting spinal cord injury research and therapies. When Christopher Reeve died in 2004, I felt relief for her since she was liberated in a way and could begin pursuing a different life. Who would have guessed that her life would end less than two years later? She was only 44 when she died yesterday. Someone once told me that God calls you home once you've fulfilled your destiny - an assignment that only you can perform here on earth. I like to think that Dana Reeve's assignment was to teach the definition of these words through her actions: sacrifice, selflessness, courage, duty, dignity, support, unconditional love, hope, faith, for better or worse. Indeed, she stepped into her destiny and completed her assignment in an extraordinary way.
For these blessings, I am grateful.