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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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What is truly important in life

Uploaded: Jan 21, 2014

I have attended services or been otherwise involved (writing obituaries) for three community leaders who passed on in recent months; former Pleasanton Mayor Ken Mercer, former City Councilwoman Karin Mohr and businessman and Taylor Family Foundation co-founder Barry Taylor.
Reflecting on what people said about each of them, there is one dominant fact: their love for family is what those closest to them will remember most.
Love of children and grandchildren and time spent with them is what was cited in each case.
When Elaine Taylor spoke at the well-attended memorial service for Barry, she cited the three most important gifts he gave her: adopting her young son as his own; giving her a daughter through their love and taking care of her aging parents as if they were his own.
Memories of Ken from a number of people who knew him well started with what a devoted father and grandfather he was—always there for his grandkids—in victory and defeat on the sports field—encouraging them and being present.
One friend mentioned how in recent months, he had started taking them out one-on-one (he has five) to focus individual attention on them and how rewarding it had been.
As the father of just one daughter, I can agree on how important called-out special times have been to us.
These recent events further solidified the comments I read in a Wall Street Journal New Year's column by Peggy Noonan. She had reached out to a number of public figure (media, politicians and others) for what was memorable about 2013. Invariably, the most important events concerned their own family (kids or grandkids)—not their jobs or their interests.
There's a message in this for all of us.
Ken, at 71, and prior to his diagnosis very healthy, was taken way too soon. Same goes for Barry (fallen by a heart attack at 74—again apparently quite healthy) and Karin (74, by a fall from a ladder while cleaning her gutters—climbing ladders at that age testifies to her physical health).
None of us know how long we have on this globe—in my view; only our Heavenly Father knows that number. Our job is to focus on our calling and on investing our time wisely in those we love and blessing others as we are able.

Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Dominique, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Jan 24, 2014 at 8:57 am

Funny how some blogger-'journalist' can write up an opinion that excludes consideration of those in this world who have no family, who may be homeless, dispossessed, imprisoned, tortured. Got a narrow world view anyone? But then he brings the Knowing Big Heavenly Father into the picture. Sort of warped, if you ask me.

Pleasanton parents, try if you can to broaden your child's education through additional reading and travel, if you have the funds for it. These and other things can help ensure against this Homer's narrow and underdeveloped view of the world.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Jan 24, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Your comments brings a balance to Tim's post.

I rarely attend religious services.

Faith in nature is helpful for some folks.

I think that the best medicine is: Eat well. Get adequate rest. Don't isolate socially. Don't eat too many pork-chops 'n raisins. Exercise daily. Don't start too many fights and fight back if somebody a fight. Don't give out your money to somebody that's not deserving. Stay away from most funerals.

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