Archives For Loss

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I hope you have all heard the beautiful melody with even more lovely lyrics, “Leader of the Band” by Dan Fogelberg at some point in your lifetime.

Fogelberg penned the song for his own dad, Lawrence, who was a musician, educator, and band leader. In Dan’s words about his paternal inspiration, “I was so gratified that I was able to give him that song before he passed on. In his final years he was interviewed many times by the national press because of it. He went out in a blaze of glory, which meant a lot to me and my family.”

My husband’s grandfather passed away in the early morning hours this past Father’s Day.

I can’t help but think of William (Buck) Woodard, aka “Poppy,” a role model for all who knew and loved him, when listening to these lyrics.

“His gentle means of sculpting souls took me years to understand… My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man. I’m just a living legacy to the Leader of the Band.

Isn’t that how life and death traditionally unfold? We rush through life, attempting to keep pace with everything and everyone buzzing around us?

And then a loved one passes and it is as if God gently places a hand upon our shoulder to slow us down, to pause and reflect on those we love and the life we live. It is during this time of reflection when we soak in the magnitude of the people who have helped shape our lives for the better.

I was able to tell Poppy goodbye and he gave me the same comforting smile and hug he always extended to family and friends.

He was, and will remain, the Leader of our Band.

In loving memory of Buck Woodard

Written by Heidi Woodard

I’m leaving my job

June 18, 2012

It’s not just a job. It’s a job in a company that I’ve worked at for 13 years. At a place where I know a few hundred people. A place that employed me before I had kids, heck, before I was even married. I was a wide-eyed graduate fresh out of college who was offered a full-time position after completing an internship. I falsely assumed I would be rich off my humble starting salary.

Thirteen years and three kids later, I am far from being monetarily wealthy. However, my life as a whole is richer for having worked there.

Yet I knew this time was coming.

When I had to put one of my dogs down a couple of summers ago, I told people that I should have made that difficult decision about six months prior than I actually did. I knew he wasn’t happy merely existing.

It’s a pretty dumb comparison, but that is kind of how I felt about my job. I was merely existing for the last several months. I met deadlines, completed my work, and received feedback. But I was no longer hungry. I owed my company and myself more than that.

After I finally decided to reclaim some of my professional passion and eject from auto-pilot, I committed to leaving my employer the right way. To let people know what they’ve meant to me over the years. To wrap up loose ends, say my goodbyes. I am in that process this week.

The one person who I wish I could share this latest adventure with is my Grandma Peterson. She left this earth and a void in my heart in January 2008. No one was a bigger supporter of my dreams.

She would beg me for business cards every time I took a new position so she could share what I did with her friends at church and distant relatives. I literally had hundreds of business cards printed and never got rid of them so handing her a handful was never a problem. It made her happy and it made me proud.

As I tossed my ridiculous amount of business cards in the recycling bin, I couldn’t help but smile.

It’s a bit scary leaving your comfort zone. But I’ve never been one to shy away from opportunity. Grandma Peterson would have reassured me I will be great at this latest adventure.

So I will continue to believe her and forge on.