“what you do will live beyond your lifetime. it transcends the things of this earth.”
(YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE ©️ kerri sherwood)
when i think about my sweet momma and my poppo, my big brother, my godfather uncle allen, my grandmother-mama-dear, more beloved family and dear friends – all who have left this earth – i don’t think about their jobs or upward mobility, their income or the status symbols they owned. i don’t think of the timeline of their school or work or whether they had finished a degree or if they had even gone to college. i don’t ponder awards or certificates they received or resorts where they may have vacationed.
i think about what a difference they made in my life. my mom’s devotion to cheery kindness, my dad’s quiet and stubborn thoughtfulness, my big brother’s goofy humor and ability to tell a story in all its details, my uncle’s absolute commitment to his fun-loving smile no-matter-what-was-happening. i think about the joy my mom experienced when my dad brought her grocery-store-flowers. i think about big bowls of coffee ice cream with my brother, neil diamond playing in the background. i think about my uncle generously paying for my very first recordings in ny, diligently holding me up and gently pushing me. i think about simple moments with them. in what could be a crowded-with-information-obituary in my head for each person, i hold a piece of their heart instead. they have made a difference in this world. they made a difference for me. i remember.
we live on an infinite continuum of opportunity. chances to bring light and hope to others. deeds we can do out of kindness, goals reached by collaborating together. we face choice just as soon as the sun-peeking-over-the-horizon wakes us. we innately or intentionally decide, we head in a direction, we live a day.
this song. i have performed it countless times. in nyc’s central park for tens of thousands of people, in small medical clinics, in large oncological settings, in chicago’s grant park. at a pharmaceutical conference in puerto rico, outdoors with the lance armstrong tour of hope. across the country, in pajamas and jeans and all-dressed-up. in theatres and at walks/runs, in schools and churches. for organizations including y-me, the american cancer society, gilda’s club, young survival coalition, susan g. komen foundation, the annual breast cancer symposium. and each time, heidi and i, working together in performance, fighting back tears. the list is profound. not because of the innumerable times i have sang this song, but because of all the people in these places and behind the scenes, joining together, remarkably touching the lives of others: those they know and those they may never know.
we make a difference. in every arena of our lives. every place we go. every interaction. every gesture. every assumption. every conversation. every every-thing. every single thing.
what intention will we have? will we be positive or negative?
“the truth is, I now don’t travel back at all, not even for a day. … live life as if there were no second chances.” (ABOUT TIME)
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YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE ©️ 2003 kerri sherwood