33 % More Fun

Life is supposed to be fun

Aunt Phyllis

My Aunt Phyllis turned 80 in April and I was so excited to be a part of her special birthday celebration. It was a weekend full of fun, slideshows, dinners, breakfast and back for more dinners.

Saturday night was particularly special as everyone gave tribute to how my Aunt had touched their lives. Some were funny, some were thoughtful, but mostly they were all filled with overwhelming love and appreciation for such a magnificent person. I’m not much for speeches so I didn’t give my tribute in person so I thought I would write it here instead.

I’ve always greatly admired my Aunt. She has the gift of storytelling and as a child I couldn’t wait to hear about all of her adventures over and over again. There was the poor tuba man in the marching band that tripped and got stuck to the pavement on a hot summer day. The goose that bit her leg, with scars left to prove it!  The bicycle that ran her over when she was little, and a cherry tree ladder that feel right on top of her. It’s a wonder she made it through childhood.

But my favorite stories were the ones of far off places. She’d tell us about Japan and explain how bowing the lowest was a great sign of respect.  Once, as a guest in someone’s house, they kept bowing lower and lower to each other until they were practically on the floor. They had a good laugh, but I’m not sure they ever resolved who respected whom more. We’d listen to Tikki Tikki Tembo on repeat on her record player. One year she even created an authentic Japanese dinner for us and dressed us up in kimonos! I’ve always thought that she was so brave and she has also always been an inspiration to me.

Many years ago a colleague asked me who was the most interesting and influential person I knew. Without any hesitation I told him about my Aunt Phyllis. I’m sure I told him about all her travels, but the thing I distinctly remember trying to convey the most was about her spirit. My Aunt is just so full of love and joy, it radiates from her with such power you can’t help but feel her warmth and love surround you. She has this way of making you feel special and important as she asks about your life and truly listens to you. She is fun, loves to laugh, and always puts others before herself. She’s has an unwavering faith in God and is always optimistic. That’s what inspires me most about her. She’s just always present with you, right there in that moments, finding the joy and laughter in life. She has always been an influential part of my life as has always been a constant source of inspiration as I look to find the best in life.

 

 

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The Great VH4

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Mine friend Victor passed away yesterday while out for a run. I can’t think of a better way to honor him than his very own 33% post, (actually I can think of tons of better ways to honor him, but this is fun and I think he’d approve)

He was one of those people with so much charisma. He loved life and made other people love it too. He genuinely cared about people and their dreams. He was a cheerleader for everyone, inspiring us all onward. He followed his dreams with a focus I’ve never know before or since. He had such passion for science and felt determined to ignite that fire in people of all ages. He just thought life was wicked awesome and lived it fully.

He was actually a big part of my 33% More Fun. He loved the concept, but more importantly you just couldn’t not have fun and enjoy life when he was around. We did lots of 33% activities. One of my favorites was when we went and saw an Aeros hockey game. He loved hockey, all sports really. He helped explain the game to me as we cheered on our cities B team. Somewhere during the night we started talking about hockey team names and wondered how they were named. We decided to trying coming up with some of our own team names. I don’t remember the full list (we played the game for quite a while) but here were some of my favorites that I still remember.

  1. Prescott Asscotes
  2. Dillion Pickles
  3. Orange Bananas
  4. Saratoga Greek Gods
  5. Scranton Squirrels

Scranton Squirrels

There moto is “Don’t mess with us cause we’re nuts!”

Victor, you’ll be missed by many but we’re all rooting that you’re up among the stars where you always wanted to be. To Infinity and Beyond!

P.S.

I’ve rewritten this blog a hundred times today. How do you describe someone who was larger than life and made everyone’s life better by just being in his vicinity? How do you choose which characteristics and stories to write when these descriptions and memories could fill books upon books? Because the reality is, that all words fail when trying to describe who he is and the hole you suddenly feel. I’m old enough to know better than to find that endless loop that ask, “Why did this happen?” So instead, I choose to feel inspired. And in the next weeks and months to come I hope I can take a lesson from his life and live my life fuller, with more time for friends, family, fun, and laughter. And although it won’t be visible to others, each time I do, I’ll say a quiet prayer, thanking him for inspiring me.

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Birthday Brunch

I love brunch. What could be better? Breakfast food and lunch food together? Brilliant. Whoever invented brunch should totally be rewarded.

My birthday fell in the middle of the week this year. I’m getting a bit too old to head out on a weeknight and expect to get up for work in the morning. So I decided on a weekend birthday brunch to celebrate. What better than a good mimosa in the morning.

I had a small crowd of friends come. It was perfect. We had brunch, drank mimosas, laughed, and thoroughly enjoyed ourself. Here is to mimosas in the morning. Brilliant!!!

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