Back on the clock; appreciation for life

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Don’t get me wrong. I really, really, really loved being off and taking a break from the daily grind, but at the same time, I was ready this morning to get back to work.

First off, let me just say thanks to those of you who posted news while I was away. Much appreciated.

But if you missed it, here are a few things that happened while I was on vacation . . .
• Rick Stansbury’s new contract was finalized and he’ll now be paid roughly $1.2 million. Not bad.
• MSU is getting a new video scoreboard, the biggest in the SEC. Impressive. And needed (now, if they’ll just upgrade that lousy press box).
• Greg Byrne officially took over as AD.
• MSU announced its new 10-year deal with Learfield Sports, effective immediately. And that means a lot more money for the university. A lot.
• Sylvester Croom received commitments from WR Patrick Patterson (Noxubee Co.), LB/DE Deontay Skinner (Noxubee Co.), FB/DL William Shumpert (Itawamba) and WR Montez Phillips (Lafayette Co.). Now note, I’ve heard Phillips is about to change his mind.

And that all just happened in 2 1/2 weeks. Whew!

As for me, did some fishing, went to a place outside of Branson called Big Cedar, went to Chattanooga and did a lot of projects around of the house. Also participated in an adult vacation bible school, which was outstanding.

But if there’s one thing I did that left a lasting impression, it was the trip I made last week to visit Farley (a loyal reader and poster since Day 1) and his family at Lebonheur Children’s Hospital.

By now you’ve heard their son, Aedan, was born with a defect in his heart. I don’t know why, but I felt a need to go and visit. And note, I had never met Farley face-to-face. And I admit, on the way to the hospital, and more so in the elevator up to the ICU, I was worried how it would go.

What would I say? Would it be awkward? Would this be a disaster? Is it smart to make contact with a blog reader? Again, never met the man and here I was about to visit with him at a very vulnerable and scary time in his own life. But as it turned out, it was a great and inspiring visit, and I’m so glad I went. And let’s just say, Farley’s personality in real life isn’t exactly like the one that comes across on this blog. LOL!

So, you ask, why go?

Well, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for kids, something that was exposed back in December when I went to St. Jude’s with the MSU football players. It was a situation where I left feeling grateful for my kids’ health and sorry for those parents who were there with sick children, many of whom were on death’s door. I can’t imagine how they deal with those trials and tribulations on an everyday basis.

And because of that, I wanted to take my son, Zach, with me to see the Farley clan. Just in case it was the worst-case scenario, he would at least be a buffer (fortunately, that wasn’t necessary). But more than anything, I also wanted him to see what other kids that are less fortunate health wise encounter every day.

He was uncomfortable, perhaps a little scared, at first. And it didn’t help that he dropped the bag of goodies we had put together as we were getting out of the car in the parking garage, which resulted in me yelling at him for not paying attention.

But when it was time to leave after roughly an hour and we were heading out of the door en route for some lunch at Huey’s (highly recommended), he turned to me and said in the sincerest tone, “Dad, I’m really a lucky kid and should be grateful.”

Needless to say, this proud dad had a lump in the back of my throat. I was hoping for a that kind of response, and was so glad he said it without being prompted. And at the same time, I realized it was stupid that I yelled at him for dropping the bag. I know he didn’t mean to. Perhaps it was just a nervous response from me. I don’t know.

Anyway, I encourage you all to make that kind of visit at some point in your life. Trust me when I say it will be a life-changing experience.

As for little Aedan, Farley sent a text saying Monday’s surgery went great (a shunt was inserted) and the doctors are encouraged with how he is recovering. Hopefully, they will be able to take him home for the first time in the next week. Then in 6 months, he’ll have the big one – open heart.

I know a lot of you have been praying for him, and I ask that you continue. And trust me, Farley and his wife are so grateful for all you have done. And let me say how proud of you I am. So many readers have visited, called and helped out financially. Amazing.

It’s funny, I’ve even had complete strangers come up to me and ask about Farley and Aedan and tell me they are praying for them. Who would have ever thought this blog would have led to that. See, that stormy personality Farley has showcased here from time to time is now paying off. Again, LOL!

What a great society we live in. Sometimes, we just a story like this to remind us.

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13 Responses to “Back on the clock; appreciation for life”

  1. BirdZ! Says:

    Good to have you back, GG. Glad y’all made the trip up there. It meant a lot to the farley family also.

  2. 2thdoc Says:

    Glad you are good and rested Gregg. You couldn’t have hand picked a busier couple of weeks in MSU sports to miss out on but that is prolly a good thing.

    I know recruiting is overated at this time of the year but you have to give Croom alot of credit even without Phillips. An outside chance of finishing with a top 10 class is much more than I thought possible. We’ll see.

  3. Gregg Ellis Says:

    totally agree, 2thdoc.

  4. bigdraws Says:

    I heard the kid from Oxford is waffling already.

  5. bigdraws Says:

    BTW GG, you look like a Mouskateer with my avatar above your head.

  6. Gregg Ellis Says:

    Now that’s funny, draws

  7. hokdog91 Says:

    Good to have you back. Your account of your trip to Lebonheur is inspiring. Farley, we have you all in our prayers. Keep us updated.

  8. Gregg Ellis Says:

    En route to Starkville for a series of interviews this morning. I will have a blog update later this afternoon.

  9. bigdraws Says:

    Pick me up some livers at the Chevron in West Point, please.

  10. Gregg Ellis Says:

    Will do! Lol

  11. chrisfromcorinth Says:

    I’m glad to know that I’m not the only person the grabs food from that Chevron. I’m a gizzard man myself, but my mom used to love the livers. Stopped and picked some up every friday on my way home from school.

  12. Gregg Ellis Says:

    Livers with tabasco and ketchup … Can’t go wrong!

  13. bigdraws Says:

    Got that right. I usually stop there after basketball games for the late ride home.

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