A few months ago I was hosting a workshop for SCORE when a guy from our old Ward in Sugarhouse walked in. It was like seeing an old friend again. During the breaks we got caught up on our families and I felt I had been transported back to another time. Then he unleased a bombshell. "Did you hear about Jonathon? He committed suicide a few months ago. He was married ya know, but he didn't have any kids." The news was a complete blow to my gut and I was sick the rest of the week.
When I went to graduate school in Ohio I lost touch with a few of them. One night I got a phone call from Joe, the leader of the core four. "Hey COACH! Me and Brandon and Jon are coming to New York to drive a car back to Utah. Can we come see you?" I was delighted! We had them for two days. I showed them around campus, took them to class with me and got them into the luxury boxes at the football stadium. It was awesome to know that I had enough of an impact on them that they would spend part of their roadtrip with their old Scout Master.
For the next three years I coached these guys our team taking first place in Stake and in my last year in that Ward we took third in Region. Almost all of those guys had looked me up for invitations to their mission farewells and homecomings. But Dan had kind of dropped off the face of the earth and no one knew where he was or what had happened to him. So it was quite a surprise to have him call. When I asked him what he was up to he says "Well Coach, I'm growing up!" He was sooo excited! It turns out that he is getting married in September and wanted to call to invite me to his wedding! "I'm getting married in the Temple Coach and I want you to be there." I have been floating all night long!
I have a theory that when we pass to the other side we will stand with our Maker and review our lives together. A big part of the movie that we will watch together is how each of us has interacted with others, and how that influence (good or bad) rippled through their lives, and through THOSE lives. That thought oftens guides a lot of my decisions and when this life is over for me I'd love to know how my help, love, suggestions have benefited others. I hope that I will have been more of a positive impact on other peoples lives than negative ones. I'd like to believe that I have sent out good ripples.