Last month, my friend and West Point classmate Mitch lost his daughter Jessica in an automobile accident. Jessica was an organ donor and her thoughtfulness in identifying herself as such resulted in five lives being saved in the wake of her passing.
As precious as Jessica’s donations proved to be, I think her dad Mitch’s words, below, are equally priceless. He originally posted them on Facebook but they are certainly worthy of any broader distribution that we can provide here.
Frankly, I can’t think of a better place to share Mitch’s thoughts than on the AHF’s website. After all, the humanities are all about striving to discover and celebrate just what it means to be human. Mitch’s words reach to the heart of that issue—and are well worth remembering as we all embark upon a new year.
So read on, say a prayer for Mitch and his family, and take his words to heart in 2011.
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I’m glad I wrote this . . .
By Jon “Mitch” Mitchell
Jessica used to work at a restaurant close to my office here in N.C. and every day, and I mean EVERY day that she worked there, I always stopped by to say hi, or simply, to see her face. You see, Jessica was in Oklahoma for a year going to school at Oklahoma State University and then came home (her grandparents lived in Stillwater, OK, where OSU is) when her grandparents moved to Florida (no more family there). Anyway, she moved back with us in late July to go to school here.
So one day I was getting dinner for us at Carolina Cafe, and did my daily/nightly “pop in” to see her, and she asked (in a nice, but 20-year-old fashion), “Daaad, why are you always stopping by? Shoot, you might as well get a job here! I gotta go back to work, I love you.”
So I left, got home, slammed my tasty chicken salad sammy in about 4.23 minutes, pulled out a piece of paper, and wrote why I stop by:
When I stopped by your work today, you asked “why are you always stopping by?” Well, I just wanted to tell you why. I am taking EVERY advantage, every excuse, every…to see as MUCH of you as possible while you are near as one day, perhaps in the not to distant future, you won’t be as close as you are now. And although when there becomes distance between us, you will be in my heart (as you always are), but not close enough to hug. And that Jessie, that is why I always “stop by.”
I love you.
PS—And I won’t be stopping these “drop by’s”…so deal with it! 🙂
Glad and sad right now about this. Glad it made her feel good (I found it in her nightstand) . . . but sad because I meant a different “distance.” I found the note in her nightstand a couple of weeks ago.
Hug your kids . . .
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Mitch, although I share your sadness, I’m also glad that you wrote this. Thank you for having the wisdom and courage to share it.