Monday, September 11, 2017

What If Today Was Your Last Day?

What if today was your last day?

September 11th. Today, we're remembering that dreadful day. It's likely that at some point today, you've thought about what you were doing when you heard the news. I know I have. I remember it like it was yesterday.

I was still working full-time and was about halfway through my battle with heart disease. I arrived at work a few minutes before 8 a.m. and was just settling in. The report came over my radio that a small plane had flown into the World Trade Center. Next report said, no - it was an airliner. So, I thought, "How does an airliner accidentally fly into a building that tall? How could the pilot not see it?" Then, the shock, disbelief, and horror set in when the next report said it had been done intentionally. It was terrorism.

What if today was your last day?

CNN breaking the news of a plane crash at the ...
CNN breaking the news of a plane crash at the World Trade Center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Just like myself, millions of Americans went to work that day like any other weekday. We expected to come home to our families that night, have dinner, watch some TV, go to bed, and get up and do it again the following day. Unfortunately, several thousand of them did not have that opportunity, because of the hate within 19 evil men.

What if today was your last day?

The thousands who perished in the towers, the Pentagon, or serving as first responders and crew members on those planes had no idea what their day had in store for them. Neither did their families who saw their worlds changed forever in the blink of an eye, as did millions of us watching on TV. We will never be the same even though it happened 16 years ago.

Today's Music Monday is a special one as we remember. It has the opportunity to be the most powerful, positive, motivational, life-changing post I've ever been inspired to do on this blog, if we let it. My hope is that it makes you think and changes us all in a good way.

What if today was your last day?

Nickelback has received a lot of criticism over the years, much of it deserved, due to the racy music lyrics in some of their songs. However, "If Today Was Your Last Day" contains none of that. The band absolutely nailed it with the lyrics in this song. If you've never heard it, you are in for a treat. You may even want to share it with friends and family.

The song should make us think about what's really important. If you've heard some of the band's criticism, I encourage you to put it aside and take the time to watch today's music video. Listen carefully to the lyrics and think about what the band is saying. I think you'll find that even an ol' rock band can provide some thoughtful insight and wisdom every now and then. Don't write it off just because it's Nickelback. You'll be cheating yourself if you do. It could be the best 4 minutes of your day. Don't judge a book by it's cover or a song by the name of the band.

One other thing - watch the video all the way through. At the beginning, you may think, "This doesn't look good. This is gonna end badly." I thought the same thing and got a pleasant surprise. You will, too. Just trust The Sheepdog on this one. You'll thank me later.

Video is embedded below or can be watched by clicking here.

To the families of all who lost loved ones that day, my prayers continue to go out to you. To all the military families who have lost loved ones fighting the war against terrorism, thank you for your sacrifice.

To the rest of us, I'll ask again - what if today was your last day?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Transplant Recipient Realizes Her Dream

In 2011, Arlinda Griffin had been on the transplant waiting list for nearly 3 years. Due to severe diabetes, she was nearly blind and desperately needed a kidney and pancreas transplant. When Eric Smith tragically lost his life in an automobile accident on June 12, 2011, he became a hero to Arlinda, because he was an organ and tissue donor who saved her life and the lives of several others. Eric also helped many through tissue donation.

English: Citizens Bank Park view from Pavilion...
English: Citizens Bank Park view from Pavilion Deck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
After Arlinda received her transplant, she became friends with Eric's mom, Mary Smith. As their friendship grew, Arlinda confided in her that she had a lifelong dream of singing the national anthem at a Philadelphia Phillies baseball game. Once learning of Arlinda's dream, Mary went to work to make it happen.

On July 29th, during the Phillies' annual Gift of Life organ donation awareness night, Arlinda accomplished the dream, the goal, she had kept to herself since her childhood. After escorting Arlinda onto the field for the national anthem, Mary was in tears as Arlinda became the first organ transplant recipient to sing the national anthem at Citizens Bank Park saying, "I'm hoping that people attending the game will appreciate the value of being an organ donor."

There are approximately 117, 000 Americans currently on the transplant waiting list. One is added about every 10 minutes. Today, around 20 Americans will run out of time waiting and die leaving behind spouses, children, fiancees, parents, siblings, and friends. To break the numbers down a little further, 1 American dies about every hour to hour and a half. In my opinion, that's inexcusable when the solution to ending this needless dying is as simple as all Americans voluntarily registering as organ and tissue donors.

To learn how to register as a donor, please visit Donate Life America's website by clicking here.

It won't take but about 2 minutes of your time, so to borrow a phrase from Nike, "Just Do It!"

Read More: - see article on titled "Singing the Gift of Life At the Phillies Game"

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Thanks Chris

When I moved to Middle Tennessee in 1993, Nashville had the best rock station on the face of the planet - WKDF. It didn't matter when you listened or what song was on, it was good stuff. Their song rotation ranged from hard rock, to '70s classic rock, to southern rock, to '80s hair / glam metal, and even grunge. It was awesome. Then, one day around 1 p.m., I returned to the office from lunch and found that it was over - WKDF had switched to country. It went from awesome to totally sucking. I wanted to loose my lunch. I hate country music. It hurts my ears. It's like fingernails screeching across a chalkboard.

Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Audioslave
Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Audioslave (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I'm sure that like everything else, it was about money, but ever since, Nashville has been without a good radio station. If you're a rocker, your choices are Jack FM or The Rock. I guess Jack is ok if you like having a song by Guns 'N Roses, Metallica, or .38 Special followed by Michael Jackson or Madonna. Yuck. I guess The Rock is ok if you want to hear The Beatles, The Clash, Rush, or Led Zeppelin every third song, but I don't. However, a critique of Nashville rock radio is not the purpose of this post.

It was on WKDF where I first heard Soundgarden and frontman Chris Cornell during the grunge explosion of the early to mid-'90s. Mixing that band and Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, and Alice In Chains in with the other rock genres mentioned above was the norm. In fact, nearly 5 years ago, I posted a Music Monday double shot of my two favorite Soundgarden hits - "Black Hole Sun" and "Fell On Black Days" (here). Loved those songs in the '90s and still do today. Arguably, the 2 best ballads to come out of the grunge era.