|Downhill, cross country,|
and snowshoeing in Tahoe.
We did everything together.
Five years. And when I say, “funk”, that’s what I’m calling the emotional exhaustion I experienced. Not depression. I checked it out with my favorite go-to doctor, Dr. Google.
You see, for a few weeks I had low energy levels, no motivation to write, sleepless nights followed by naps during the day, crying at the drop of a hat and the big one…forgetfulness. I’m not talking about forgetting to eat or forgetting to check the mail. I do that stuff all the time because I get busy. Engaged in my writing and such.
No. This was bigger. I forgot to pick up my grandson for his golf match. Three times. He’d call and I’d jump in the car, race to get him, and each day manage to drive him to the course before his tee time. I’m sure he was flustered by not getting there early. I was devastated.
He was forgiving. I cried.
Late one night…or maybe it was in the wee hours of the morning…I consulted Dr. Google. If I was going through some kind of depression or mental illness I wanted to confront it head on. I listed my symptoms and the good doctor took me to several pages.
I decided I was emotionally exhausted. It is real. I decided to take steps to care for myself with more walking, less television, eating a more balanced diet, and following a strict schedule (which did not include midday naps). I asked my personal secretary, “Alexa,” to remind me of appointments. I picked my grandson up on time thereafter (with an M&M McFlurry in hand I might add…his favorite), and went to bed at the appropriate hour.
Five years. I didn’t experience this feeling with any other “anniversary” of Tom’s death. (I put anniversary in quotes because the word connotes celebration to me…maybe I should use the word “remembrance” or something.
|Tom's Colleagues Campaigned to Have a Scholarship in His Name|
As Well As This Lifetime Achievement Award
So I decided to do something even more positive.
You see, Tom’s research to protect people in the workplace was impactful. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has referred to him as a “public health hero.” After his death, the CDC Foundation set up a scholarship in Tom’s name. They established it and told me then that if it reached the $50,000 mark in …yep, Five Years…it will be an endowed fund.
That means it will go on forever. Young men and women seeking to follow in Tom’s footsteps will have access to financial aide for their education.
For me, it isn’t that some deserving student will receive funds. For me it is that every applicant will read Tom’s story, look at his body of research, and hopefully, seek to serve others the way Tom did. Tom’s work was, in effect, his ministry. He was passionate about what he did. He sincerely cared about people.
I want what Tom did to inspire others to conduct research with a sense of “mission” and harbor a deep care about worker safety.
Five years. It’s coming up.
The fund is short by several thousand dollars. So, here is my proposition:
October is National Ergonomics Month. I will match monies donated in this month. I have limited funds, so there is a cap on how far I can go, but if donors give $15,000 I’ll match it and the scholarship will be firmly established.
You see, when Tom died, we had just purchased a camper. We were able to use it three times. We talked of our future travels and planned to live in it in Naples, Florida for a couple of months in 2015.
It was a plan. A dream.
I put the money aside from the camper to use in a way that would honor Tom. This is it. Any amount helps. Twenty-five dollars? Yes. Fifty or a hundred? Of course. It’s all tax deductible. So if you won the lottery and want to donate a couple of thousand, I won’t discourage you!
And I’ll make it easy. Click onthe following to donate on line.
If you prefer to write a check, you'll find the form at the following link. Simply print it out and mail it in with your check. The address is on the form.
And if you already give to the CDC Foundation, you can designate this year’s gift to go to the Thomas R. Waters Memorial Scholarship.
Thank you. For bearing with me through all this. Holding me up. Reading to the end. But most of all...for giving.