Sunday, August 31, 2008

JWN: Depth of Life

Depth of Life

By: Joseph Norman

“It is not length of life, but depth of life.” - Emerson

I’ve never done this before, but this week I want to share with you an email I received from a friend and colleague. As you may have previously read in my article titled “Philanthropy,” I recently joined the Board of Melissa’s Living Legacy Foundation, a non profit focused on improving the quality of life of adolescents with cancer.

It’s a tremendous organization whose mission I believe in very deeply. (Website) Please, contact me personally ( if you are moved by the following story and would like to support our efforts in any way. It would be my pleasure to share with you what we have going on and how you can help. Thanks!

Without further adieu, the email:

This past week Lauren Spiker, Executive Director of MLLF, shared a story from one of the young adults we are currently working with, Mike. I believe it deserves to be read by as many people as possible.

Date: August 29, 2008 at 10:00 AM

From: Lauren Spiker

Subject: A Lesson from a Dying Boy

“I just want to update everyone on Mike’s condition and share a bit of bittersweet humor. I spoke with Mike’s dad last night. I believe his time is drawing very near. Mike’s pain continues to escalate so medication is keeping him pretty sedated. His palliative care team is doing a great job making him as comfortable as possible but it’s a very difficult time for all. I am respecting their need for privacy and not visiting although I stay in touch via phone. I’m going to send some sunny flowers today from all his friends at MLLF.

Despite it all, he and his family made the impossible trip to the funeral home last week to choose a casket. This is something Mike told me he really wanted to be a part of. Please, don’t even try to imagine what it’s like to have to make plans for your child’s funeral. I told his dad how proud I am of him for having the courage to follow their son’s wishes. After purchasing the one he liked, Mike asked the funeral director, “Can we bring it home now? I want to sleep in it and make sure it’s comfortable!”

Lesson for the Day: Let’s remember to not take ourselves too seriously.

Please keep Mike and his family in your thoughts and prayers,


Little more can be said that has not already been felt. May your day be blessed with joy for life’s beauty and humbleness for its brevity. Thanks for listening.

Joseph W. Norman, resides in Macedon, NY, and is Chief Enthusiasm Officer of Notable and Newsworthy and Editor of The VIP Profiles. He is currently a full time real estate investor that would love to meet you!

He can be reached at or 607.743.8569.