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Moments – What moment changed you?

Moments change you.  Some days drift by aimlessly and some hit you like a freight train.  Often those “freight trains” are the moments that change your life.  Do you embrace those moments – both the good and the bad?

The most emotional moment of my life was when I got the call that my Mom died.  I couldn’t speak, couldn’t hold back the tears, and could barely get the words out to relay the message to my brother and sister.  I managed to navigate my way out of the office without completely breaking down.  I think I managed a nod to my coworkers when they asked what was wrong. Uttering one word would have cracked me at that moment.  The pain is still strong, often excruciating, every time something triggers the painful part of that memory.  My Mom is gone and I’ll never talk to her again in that calming way only she could do, never hear her laugh so loud she’d burst the room, never see that smile that filled room after room infectiously.

How can anything good come from the realization that there are so many moments I can’t look forward to with her?  During moments like that I realize that something good has to come from that pain.  If I change my perspective, her death becomes more meaningful.  She continues to help me even though she’s not hear.  Nothing would make her prouder and happier than finding a glimmer of optimism in that deep, dark pain.

My relationship with my Dad is stronger.  He said today how much he loves that I spend time with him each Saturday.  I didn’t know that man in a former life.  That moment changed him and made him a better person.  That time each week is important to me and is a direct result of my realization that our time together is limited and I don’t know when it will end.  Cherishing those moments with family and friends is the promise I make to myself that helps me find solace in thinking of my Mom.  She lives on through that promise and continues to make my life better.

Today she would be a bright shining beacon of happiness welcoming a grandson into this world.  Our worlds have changed as a new mother and father, grandfathers and grandmothers, aunts, uncles, cousin, friends have had new roles thrust upon them in a moment of pure joy.  We welcome you to this world John “Ryan” Morris and hope you get the best of all of us and more importantly, that you are the best unique you and we get the best of who you are.

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.
– Henry David Thoreau

Snapshots of My Eternal Moments

  • Taking a picture with my Mom at the Cliffs of Moher on our last family vacation in Ireland
    Moment from the past...
    Moment from the past...
  • Listening to my 1st musical memory – my sister and I on our older than old couches with Billy Joel playing from the classic record player
  • Entering the Upper Darby Boxing gym for the 1st time with the boxing ring in the background, seeing Andy Carr with his daughter and a few students practicing Tang Soo Do katas, feeling like I just entered  Rocky
  • My first karate class with Brendan King teaching me how to kick and Andy commenting on the power of my sidekicks
  • Losing my last high school soccer game, not wanting to be done, loving my team
  • Feeling proud of being able to memorize at least 7 decimal places out of 1/7 in a grade school math class
  • Listening to classical music during high school Biology tests in Mr. Martini’s class
  • Sitting in the back of new hire training my 1st day as a full time employee at Siemens wondering who the girl in the front of the class was
  • Pure fear every time Fr. Ferrence asked a question during high school chemistry
  • The realization that I was quickly becoming a good martial arts teacher at 16 when a 40 yr old student told me how much he learned during my classes – possibly the most influential experience of my life
  • My brother explaining what engineers do and why it might be a good job for me on the way to the Marple theater
  • Running out of gas, coasting down Rt 1 on the way home from the Marple theater after seeing Jurassic Park on a school night with my brother and sister
  • Lost, confused, and overwhelmed trying to find my way into Siemens for my interview
  • Meditating for an hour with my back against a tree and cool air enveloping me, feeling like the world had stopped for me on my high school retreat
  • Listening to Bitter Sweet Symphony play while Bria walked down the aisle at our wedding
    Moment from the present...
    Moment from the present...
  • Getting 100 on that 1st computer engineering test in college and knowing that I could be a good engineer or at least a knowledgeable one
  • Getting the call from a voice I’d never heard telling me I got my 1st management job at Siemens
  • Almost getting knocked out fighting an old trainer’s bigger, stronger, but less experienced fighter, digging in on body shots taking his heart away for 3 rounds to earn some payback, dancing around the ring the last 10 seconds when I knew I’d won
  • Not being able to lift my legs to throw a kick Sunday morning of my 1st Black Belt test after training for 40 hrs straight with about 6 hrs of sleep
  • Wanting to kill someone and vomit Sunday morning of my 2nd degree Black Belt test and the look coming out in the picture still hanging on the gym wall
  • Riding and pushing the bike up the hill on Rose Tree Rd towards Ridley Creek State Park at my 3rd degree Black Belt test
  • Feeling proud working the corner for Barry Quinn and Mike McGettigan at Jack Murphy’s card in Dover, Delaware the night they both won kickboxing championships
  • Acting unconcerned in the corner for Andy Carr in his last fight as the doctor checked him out, while blood spewed from just above his eye
  • Post Thanksgiving dinner at Bayard Rd with the whole family, every year
  • My mom lighting herself on fire with a birthday cake, laughing about it with the family a few years later
  • My 1st date with Bria at Bahama Breeze and the Point in Bryn Mawr
  • Riding on the back of my Dad’s motorcycle
  • Pearl Jam at the Spectrum with my sister in April 2003 jumping up and down to Rockin’ in the Free World, completely drained, but energized
  • The final show at the Spectrum, balloons dropping from the ceiling, Mike McCready playing the Star Spangled Banner during the close of Yellow Ledbetter as Pearl Jam called it a night
  • Seeing John “Ryan” Morris for the 1st time with Bria as I awoke on January 28th, 2012
Moment from the future...
Moment from the future...