Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I've just returned from Colby's Celebration of Life and in my eyes it was exactly right. Close to eighty people were there, the weather was perfect, the speakers were heartfelt and the music was great. Ricky Lynn Gregg MC'ed the event and sang a new song in Colby's honor. He also shared several of his memories of Colby. Razzy Bailey sang one of Colby's favorite songs, "I Hate Hate" and the many people I spoke to afterward felt the entire event was exactly what Colby would have wanted. Look for photos on the web site soon.

Residents of Grandpa's House fed the homeless in another area of the park in Colby's name before the event and that was covered by Nashville's NBC affiliate, WSMV Channel 4. I am thrilled that more people are learning about grandpa's House. Of all the options Colby and I had visited over the years, this was the one he chose and was excited about, not only due to the fact that they help people with both mental illness and addiction, but because they offer music and self-esteem classes, money management and other life skills in a caring residential environment.

I felt very much at peace during the celebration and got through it with only a few tears. But tonight I am bone tired. Mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. I feel like I could sleep for a month, and wish very much that I had that luxury. I leave for East Tennessee in the morning to speak at a conference and a visit with dear friends.

I'll leave you tonight with one last thought: I learned tonight that Colby's passing has brought about the reconciliation of several people who have been estranged. Colby's story made all of these people realize that the love they have for each other is more important than petty squabbles. So go hug the ones you love, as you never know when you may get the opportunity again.

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