Sunday, July 8, 2012
One of a Kind
Here we are again at the World Series of Poker. This is the first year we've come out here without the girls and I find myself not relaxing by the pool but standing next to Trevor's table watching him play. It's something I used to do all of the time before we had kids and I don't get to do it very often anymore. Most people think I'm crazy and ask how I can possibly stand and watch poker but time flies by as I spend most of my time people watching and occasionally catching hands in between. This World Series is bittersweet for a couple of reasons. First, it's bittersweet because the girls aren't here. It's great that I can relax for a change and watch Trevor play but I miss my little babies like crazy and Vegas is Ava's favorite place to visit. She knows really nothing of what it really is but she knows she gets to come out, hang out with her favorite guys, play in the pool, drink milkshakes from Burger Bar, and see the Statue of Liberty. She knows Daddy plays poker for a living and he plays tournaments out here. But neither girl knows what really goes on here or that they're visiting "Sin City" each year. Kids are special because they also know nothing of real life problems. The biggest problem my girls face each day is what they want for breakfast or who had the toy first. They don't know about the truly chaotic world they live in or the tragedies occurring on a daily basis. Which brings me to the second reason this trip is so bittersweet. A few years ago, we had the pleasure of getting to know our friends Jay and Ken's friend Andy. Originally from Tennessee, he lives in Florida now. We heard many stories before we met him and once we met him, I knew he was a special kind of guy. He lives his life to the fullest and the big smile he wears never leaves his face. We spent some time with him since then getting to know him a little better. Andy doesn't take a second for granted in life like so many are guilty of. We all say we are going to make the effort to not take anything for granted, live life to its fullest but how many people actually do that each day? We all get busy and wrapped up in our lives and the tasks we need to accomplish each day and never really take a second to look around and be thankful for what we have that's important. We're healthy, happy, have a roof over our head, and food to eat. These are the important things in life - not what brands we wear, the cars we drive, the size of our homes, or our money in the bank. Far too often, we complain about things that don't truly matter. I know I'm guilty of it. I am extremely thankful for things things I have but it's still easy to always want more. Today, and for the past few days, I've spent a lot of time thinking about all of this and about Andy. When someone's life is in danger, it puts things in perspective. Things happen daily that make you think about how precious life is and how quickly it can end but it hits even harder when someone close to you is in danger. Andy is 28 years old - far too young to be sick in a hospital bed. But there he lays in desperate need of a lung transplant. My heart aches for him and for his family and friends. Anyone who knows him knows how special he is. He has his closest friends and family sitting by his side waiting for the news he so badly needs right now. Any lungs that become available within a 2000 mile radius are his - so now everyone sits and waits. I know Andy well enough and waiting for news is excruciating so I can't imagine what it must be like for those closest to him. Andy is a fighter and that's just what he's doing now. I believe he's going to continue fighting his battle and I'm holding onto hope that the news will come that Andy's getting new lungs. So, what's the point of this blog? I want no sympathy as I am not one of those closest to Andy. I want this story to be a lesson to those who read this. Cherish each day you have and the loved ones around you. Be thankful for the things you have and forget about the inconsequential things in life. We hear everyday that life is short and hear multiple stories about it so as cliche as it may sound, it truly is short and precious. Everyone should live life like Andy - always smiling and happy and living each day to the fullest and best of your ability. Andy has been sick his entire life and not one time have I ever heard him mention his sickness or how he was feeling. Next time you wake up with a headache, stomach ache, cold, hangover, whatever - try not to complain because there are people out there fighting for every breath. Andy - we love you and are pulling for you. We can't wait to laugh with you again. Until then, keep fighting! Love to you, your family, and friends. UPDATE: After I finished writing this blog, I got a text informing me that Andy's friends and family said their final goodbyes to him. He became too sick to be able to safely endure a transplant and was removed from the list. It is deeply saddening to hear this news and my thoughts are with his family and friends. Andy is truly one of a kind.