Thursday, August 17, 2006

In Memory...

My family and I lost a very good friend yesterday. Lloyd Wyrick died at 85. Loyd and Ruby Wyrick lived next door to me in the house I grew up in. There was not a single day I ran into Lloyd he didn’t find some way of making me laugh. We’ll miss you Loyd. Cheers.

Loyd G. Wyrick, 85 years old, of Springfield, Missouri, passed away at 11:15 a.m. on Monday, August 14, 2006. He was born October 5, 1920, in Ottawa County, Oklahoma, as the third son of Bert and Ova Wyrick. Loyd was a graduate of the Wyandotte, Oklahoma, High School and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps with the 316th TC Group during World War II. He married the former Ruby Cain on August 27, 1949, and would have celebrated his 57th anniversary with her later this month. Loyd worked for American Telephone and Telegraph Company, and had more than 35 years of service when he retired in 1981. His final position was with AT&T's engineering group in Kansas City, Missouri. He moved to Springfield in 1981 and was a member of the local chapter of AT&T Pioneers. Loyd was a member of the Platte Wood, Missouri, Christian Church, a 32nd degree Mason and a Shriner. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Cletis, Warren, Gordon, Rayford, Glen and Bert; and sisters, Garnett Hull and Letha Beery. Loyd is survived by his wife, Ruby; sons, Thomas of Springfield and James of Kansas City; grandchildren, Sara Wyrick and Matthew Wyrick; sister, June Opp of Little Rock; a number of nieces, nephews, and many other relatives and friends. Services will be held at Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home at 1947 E. Seminole St., Springfield, with visitation this evening between 6 and 8 p.m. and funeral services Thursday at 3 p.m. Loyd will be laid to rest in the Hazelwood Cemetery, 1642 E. Seminole Street.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A bigger plan....

So keeping a journal is a new one for me. Let alone one that is open to be viewed by anyone who cares to look for it. Regardless, I want to use this space as a place to keep ideas and formulate some thoughts for a possible book. Sailing around the world is a pretty big goal in itself. However, I don't want it to be an extraordinary vacation. I am looking for more out of it and I want to capture the experience somehow. Considering I am a poor photographer, and I have zero musical talent, writing seems to be my best options.

Looking at society today, people seem to be caught up in the mundane so much so that they have lost all sight of living and what that means. The rates of obesity, depression, and pharmaceutical dependency all appear as symptoms to me. Big pharma and now biotechs do an excellent job of treating these symptoms, but no one seems to be really looking at the source of the problem. First, let me say that I completely agree with the use of meds such as anti-depressants when they allow someone to regain their livelihood and begin to work towards a better life. However, in contrast, I don't like to see a medicated society where the symptoms are neutralized allowing the sufferer to ignore the problem.

A somewhat unrelated topic that concerns me is what does it take for a person to break with societal dogma and pursue the dreams they have? The following excerpt comes from a commencement speech that Steve Jobs of Apple gave. I think it is an excellent statement of the facts that must be realized before the greater questions can be addressed.

When I was seventeen, I read a quote that went something like “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right”. It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long form now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away.

–Steve Jobs

I wonder if someone has to come to terms with their own mortality before they can begin to listen to the small voices within them. Those voices are the ones that can tell us where our happiness is. For me, that has always been to travel and explore new places. For others maybe it's to have a big family, work for a non profit, climb Everest, or have a garden. That's individual; the courage to pursue the dreams is common, or at least the search for the courage to follow your dreams. - Lee