Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 508: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

the first email I got this morning was from my friend and chair of the housing authority, Deb, which said that fellow commissioner Macy McRae had a massive heart attack last night and passed. To say it was a shock would be an understatement. Macy was a member of the "zipper" club and had had open heart surgery and had, over the over 5 years i have worked with him, taken such great care of himself...stunned.

I still have the image of Macy, when I turned as Windell hit the floor at my right leg from his own massive heart attack, turning Windell over and working on him..doing everything he could to breathe life into the body. Macy was working on his friend, but also, as I would find out, working from experience on his own near death episode with heart disease. He was trying to give Windell the very life that he was given..the reprieve. But it was not to be.

Selfishly, part of my anxst this morning was that Macy and I had not seen each other much in recent months...I was not able to connect with him the way that I would like. His last email that I saw as a commissioner was one that I respected and it was the Macy that I knew to be thoughtful and deliberate and NOT divisive. His heart...ironically...was strong. very strong. Though we did not always agree, we both cared deeply about what was being accomplished.

Macy, Deb, and I are among the only three left from a time that say the least..a trial for a public board. Someday I will be able to write the whole story, but it was a frightening time that was led by faith and truly by a desire to see something done correctly. Sharing that conference room with he and deb, looking each other in the eye when the decisions were was a critical time...and no matter what...we moved forward to better ends with ethics and integrity. You learn a great deal about each other during times like that...and it is never taken for granted that part of our lives where left in that activity... But it was a growing time.

What I learned from that and from my own experience then and since then of being judged by what you do when you make decisions that create change is to become more compassionate towards those who are in those places. I truly believe there are folks who can separate themselves from their emotions and make decisions and just move on. Well, bully for them.

For the rest of us, decisions come with emotional costs and they stick to our souls. When we make them we make them because we truly believe we are doing the right things and IF we make a decision that does not stick right, it sticks out and stays out...and causes..not pain..but it sucks. Some would say that you just have to "get over it" and move on....well, I am not one of those folks. I like being around people who think AND feel their decisions..BUT ultimately who can MAKE A daggone decision..and not be afraid to do so. We did that and continued to do matter the muck and the mire that surrounded us outside and in...and Macy..Macy was a part of that. Macy had a soul that felt his decisions...that felt what he was thinking.

I wish I had told him more of that recently. I know that i thanked him for that time after Windell's is another reminder to stay connected.

This morning, I went to church and I saw someone I had held to a higher standard than I would have even held myself while this person was going through a tough position and I wanted this person to do something I deemed important. When it did not happen the way I wanted it to, I became resentful and since that time had been distant. I thought this morning of the finite time we have. But also of all the good this person had done and "who was I" kind of thing. I have learned through my own 'leadership' that it is a blessing when someone takes the time to think that maybe I have reasons for what I do rather than to just judge me. If that is what I want for God, I better exercise that same love for others...that same compassion. I used this moment with Macy's passing to make amends and reach out to that person.

This is not emotionalism. I don't feel this connection to amends because of his passing. This whole weekend has been tough. I spent all  of yesterday evening recovering in bed...healing from all the stress of the week...all of what is going on around us (and a particular bump from a run) own career/job...involvements..personalities...there are times when it is just SOOOO Much...and I hit a wall. But being compassionate...growing older and really trying to walk in someone else's shoes....that helps so much. It does not excuse or disallow disdain for bad action..nor does it hold me or anyone else less accountable for their own actions...but it does keep us all on the same playing field..kneeling on the same ground...human...somehow level with one another....and somehow it feels, if it is real and not condescending or patronizing, but authentic..and real for what another walks through..goes through..feels and thinks...somehow it just makes things more peaceful.

I am rambling I guess. All I know right now is that Macy is gone in "blink of an eye".
he was a decent and loving man with whom I worked with and he was a part of the solution.
In the end if I am "part of the solution"...that is a blessing.

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