Archives For love

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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

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I watched someone in my office building being whisked away last week by EMT on a stretcher to the nearest hospital. She had come into work like any ol’ normal workday and, a few short moments later, had her chest exposed while random strangers were doing rhythmic compressions in an attempt to save her life.

I don’t personally know this woman as we work for different companies, but I recognized her because she and I eat in the same cafeteria on the first floor of a multi-story building. I’ve had her on my mind for several days. As of Friday, I had learned she was breathing on her own after having been without oxygen for an extended period of time. And after this weekend, I’ve learned she is able to sit up in bed.

While I have no doubt she likely faces a long road to recovery, it seems that miracles do happen.

Prior to this incident, I planned on sharing my thoughts about a school assignment given by a third grade teacher in Colorado to her students. It’s been passed around through various social media platforms under the heading “I Wish My Teacher Knew.” If you haven’t already heard about these powerful testimonies, check out the story here and here.

I wish you knew

There are a lot of things that I wish the people close to me knew. There are things I wish the people I barely know knew.

I’m not a big fan of funerals. In fact, I really detest them. But the one thing that I take away from every funeral I attend is the feeling of love. Love from the people who gather to memorialize the deceased. It is both beautiful and gut-wrenching to hear people talk so fondly of the person who is no longer here with them in physical form.

I know I’m not the first to think these thoughts, but why do we tend to wait to tell the people we care about how we feel about them until they aren’t with us to receive the message?

Below are some of my I Wish My (fill in the blank) Knew messages if you’d like to read them. If you feel so inclined, I would encourage you to add your own in the comments section or just share them directly with those you care about.

Don’t wait to tell people how you feel about them. Nothing in life is more important than love and relationships.

I wish my husband knew that I feel grateful and not always deserving to be loved so deeply by him.

I wish my oldest child knew that I think he’s a lot like his dad, which explains why he both inspires and infuriates me. And that I know without a doubt that he can surpass his goals. I wish he knew how much his future excites me and how I enjoy watching every second of it unfold.

I wish my middle child knew how brave and kind I think he is for always thinking about others before himself (his siblings being excluded from that general rule of course). And how I fight back tears knowing he will always give me a genuine hug and smile no matter how old he gets.

I wish my youngest knew that when people say that she looks and acts just like me, it fills me up. I wish she knew that I look forward to her loud, unapologetic laughter every morning when I first wake up and her soft, deliberate storytelling every night before I fall asleep.

I wish my dad knew that I still look up to him to this day and always will.

I wish my mom knew that not a day goes by when I don’t count my blessings that she is still in my life to guide me.

I wish my sister knew that I love her for introducing me to rock music, snow skiing, and softball. (But I still don’t forgive her for chasing me around the house with her clarinet while blaring the theme song from Jaws.)

I wish my grandparents knew that I still miss them and everything they stood for.

I wish the entire family I married into knew that I had no idea when I said “I Do” how much they would shape my life for the better.

I wish my super close friends knew that I don’t tend to have that many of them and that they are one of the rare few because they are understanding, funny, patient, kind, and have pushed me beyond my limits.

I wish my dog knew that I never want her to cross the rainbow bridge, but when she does, I want her to look after our other dog because I have no doubt he’s still stupid in heaven (and I say that lovingly).

I wish my coworkers knew that I want them to consider me a good, reliable colleague. And that I recognize there is more in each of us than the professional hats we wear and more that defines us beyond the four walls in which we interact.

I wish my children’s teachers knew this.

I wish my kids’ coaches knew how much of an influence they are leaving on every young life that they touch and that I am thankful for every moment they’ve chosen to invest.

I wish those of you reading this right now knew that I write as a way to release my thoughts when I can’t always verbalize them. You taking time out of your day to read this means a lot to me.

I wish God knew I still rely on him.

I wish the woman who suffered a heart attack last week knew that I am thankful she survived to live another day.

Written by Heidi Woodard

Listen up little dreamers

January 29, 2013

I’ve read various renditions of blogs written by someone older to someone younger. Some are written by parents to their children, while others are written by adults to their younger selves if only they could go back in time and instill advice to avoid the pitfalls of growing up. All give insightful glimpses into lessons learned.

One of the most recent and inspiring that I’ve read is called Letters to All the Beautiful Little Girls – Part 1.

Don't fence yourself in.

Dream big. Don’t fence yourself in.

I mainly blog at night, once my three kids are settled down to bed and my mind is freed up to think.

Tonight, I won’t promise to solve all their problems. I’ll simply offer up these words of wisdom.

To my daughter:

1. I wish for you the kind of love that Rapunzel finds with Eugene Fitzherbert in Tangled. But, even more than that, I wish for you to know the feeling of loving life.

2. Don’t waste a single breath complaining about your body. The boys and friends who only pay attention to you for it, and not your heart and mind, aren’t worth impressing. I know that is so much easier to preach than to practice. Mom needs a reminder herself every now and then.

3. Learn to love your crazy hair. Consider it an outward symbol of all the wild, rebellious ideas you’ve got floating around in that head of yours.

4. If wearing a dress and matching hair bows is what makes you happy, I’ll do my best to help out. Just know that your mom sucks at fashion and has a hard time understanding why people care so much about what covers their bodies. (On a related note: bras are dumb but you must wear one.)

5. Know that I love telling you that you are my favorite daughter and hearing you say that I am your favorite mom. I realize these words will undoubtedly run away during your hormonal years, but I have faith they will inevitably return.

To my sons:

1. Never underestimate the power of prayer…or deodorant.

2. You have no idea how lucky you are to share a bedroom together. I know it causes you much stress and angst now, but there will be a day when you look up and realize that your loud, obnoxious brother isn’t there. And the silence will be deafening.

3. Don’t fall for the girl who tells or shows you why you should like her. You are both smart. The best things in life are those you have to work for, including the attention of a female.

4. Know that you can remain within boundaries while helping to define them. You will face multiple paths in life. Do what feels right with the knowledge that you won’t choose right every time. Don’t be afraid to fail or you may never fully realize how far you can go.

choose your path wisely

choose your path wisely

5. When you screw up, seek out your father. When you are lauded for your accomplishments, thank your mom. Kidding…I’ve got your back no matter what.

Created by Heidi Woodard