52 sundays; october 30, 2011

Hi everyone – Professor here; as some of you may know, we lost a special member of our family this past week and we really appreciate all the kind words, thoughts and prayers that have poured in from all over the blogosphere, Facebook and Twitter.  While it is overwhelming and never easy, it has been comforting to know there is a community of people who are thinking about us.

We also want to pass along that Alice’s immediate family send their appreciation and are humbled by the amazing words of support – they have been to this blog and read the comments you’ve left and they’ve been to our Facebook page and read the comments left there.  For those who have asked, the family would appreciate a donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; we’ve placed a link in the sidebar on the right which will take you directly to the Foundation’s page.

As with any loss, there are the expected moments of emotion, confusion and a sense of helplessness – but I also see these times as opportunities for truth, revelation or even inspiration – and that is exactly what happened to me on Friday.

Long before we knew that Alice was seriously ill, I helped organize a workshop which took place this past Friday at the University where I teach.  I’m an instructor of video production, and we had the privilege of having Roger Young (an accomplished TV and Film Director) as well as Craig Huston (an accomplished Assistant Director) lead the workshops. As hard as it was to leave Debra after the shock of Alice’s passing Thursday night, we both decided I should honor my commitments and head to campus.

As I listened to these men speak about their craft and share it with the students, my thoughts would occasionally turn to Alice and her family, or Debra who was back home processing our end-of-month work.  Suddenly, it hit me that Alice was the same age as my students and honestly, until that moment, it had never occurred to me.   Wasn’t she still the 7 year old little girl I met when Debra and I got married?   As these aspiring film makers were absorbing the information these two veterans had to offer, I imagined Alice having the chance to realize whatever her dreams had been . . . a wife, a mother – maybe even a hairstylist someday.  And when Roger used the word ‘fearless’, my mind flashed to images of Miss Alice and how fearless she always seemed . . . never being afraid to take a risk . . . always wanting to experience whatever was placed in front of her . . . she took every opportunity and ran with it . . . completely fearless . . . right until the very end.

For all she went through,  I believe Alice matched the dreams and fearlessness of an Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg or Martin Scorsese.  She lacked just one thing . . . time.   Just as James Dean said ‘Dream as if you’ll live forever, Live as if you’ll die today’ and Robin Williams shouted ‘Carpe Diem’ in the movie, ‘Dead Poets Society,’ Alice reminded me of a lesson that day – never take time for granted.

Thank you Alice . . . you taught me that I owe it to myself and my students to remember how precious each moment is in life . . . to dream . . . and to be fearless . . . you will be missed . . .



  1. My dearest Debra and Rod:
    I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you and your family. Please let me know what I can do for you and your family. All my prayers

  2. Nicely said Professor!

  3. Staci Slavin

    Thank you for sharing such a precious reminder of what is truly important in life. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

  4. Amanda Heminger

    I am so sorry for your loss. Your words are beautiful.

  5. What a lovely reminder…

  6. Nancy Carlson

    My heart is heavy with the news, but inspired by Rod’s words. I will try to live by them.

  7. Such wise words. And what a wonderful gift Alice was to those she knew to live her life with that mindset. I know she will be dearly missed. Am praying for you all.

  8. My heart goes out to each of you, hurting, missing, and loving Alice. May you find peace in her memory and the short time you had with her.

  9. Alice's Dad

    That was my Alice right until the end. She taught me so much through the years. I only had her and for a brief 16 of her 20, but i will tell you she profoundly embraced life and friendship. I will miss her so much but i will never forget how proud she made me and how important it is to live in the moment.

  10. Cindy Williams


  11. Roxana GreenGirl

    A heart touching post. Beautiful! Sending prayers your way

  12. Beautiful post Debra. Hugs to you and Alice’s family XOX

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