Dr. Phil


THE moment

Phot via:Jwagler.com
Photo via: Jwagler.com

Yesterday, was the 12th anniversary of my moment. I know you all know what it is and that I am sometimes a broken record about it, but what really fascinates me is not my own moment, but rather, everyone else’s moment. A few weeks back I wrote a post, Simply No Words” about a friend’s tragic loss that brought my moment tumbling back as if I was reliving my own.

Dr. Phil calls them the ” 5 defining moments of your life” Oprah likes to call them “Ahaa moments” and for me I don’t really care what they are called. What I care is how those moments are used. How these moments, events in time somehow shape and mold you like soft clay.

For some, these moments are tragic, for others they are the moment of sobriety, a moment of forgiveness, a moment of loss, grief or illness but more than anything a moment of realization. After speaking with hundreds of non-profit founders, I can tell you that each one I have interviewed, can tell you their moment. That split second in time that forever altered the course of their life.

I truly believe that we all have them, some moments are bigger than others. Do we see them (warning: they are often hard to miss) But more importantly, is what did you learn from that moment? How did you use it to make another’s life better? The extraordinary people I call my heroes (aka non-profit founders) are just like you and me. What makes them so unique is their ability to take that split second in time and turn in into a lifetime of good.

Whatever you call that, defining or ahaa, these moments become gifts in defining our purpose.

Charity Matters.


Copyright © 2014 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Ten Years later

Today is the ten-year anniversary of my mom’s death. I think Dr. Phil calls it one of the 5 defining moments in your life, I think this was my number 1 moment. My mother was  hit by a bus, yes I know it’s an expression that doesn’t really happen but in her case it did. She was 60 years old, celebrating my dad’s birthday with all of their dear friends and  loving life when this happened not only to us but to 3 other families as well.

A decade later and I still miss her everyday, think about picking up the phone to give her a call. I wish she was here, to see the men her grandsons are becoming. Some days it feels like yesterday and others seem so much longer, since I received that fateful call in the middle of the night.

The tears stopped long ago but that void is always there.  I think the magic and irony of loss is that with it comes growth. There isn’t a forest fire with out new fertile soil and a new forest, an earthquake without rebuilding, a death without a rebirth.

My mother’s death began my rebirth. I really do appreciate moments that before, went by unnoticed. I spend my time and try to use it as the gift that it is. I am driven to make a difference and feel she is propelling me to do so. My joy comes from my children and truly by helping others. This is my rebirth.

It began a year after my mother’s death when a friend asked me to come down to Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. My friend John, was a hospital chaplain, for a hospital that had 300,000 patients come through its doors with only 2 chaplains, no one at night and no one on weekends. He asked for help from 10 of us and I knew it was something I had to do. In that hallway at CHLA almost 10 years ago we founded The Spiritual Care Guild, a non-profit that provides non-denominational chaplains at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

Today, we have chaplains 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Founding Spiritual Care Guild  was my rebirth. Seeing the thousands of families that have chaplains by their children’s bedside has brought purpose to my mother’s death and giving has brought more joy than receiving ever could.

I know each week I tell the stories of people who started these non-profits but what I haven’t shared with you is that their story is mine as well. I too am one of these people.  This is not my pulpit but simply my voice. Giving, service and charity have healed me in unexpected and imaginable ways.  I share this in hopes it might do the same for you or someone you love.

I still miss my mom but know that wherever she is, she’s smiling.

This is why Charity Matters so much to me.   

Copyright © 2012 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.