life changers

I had lunch with one of the life changers today. You know, one of those people whose passion for life is so grand it pulls others along like returning waves seek the sea.

He’s a young fellow, and I reported at work to him for a brief period. We meet at Portillo’s, that Chicagoland chain with the wonderful hotdogs. Polish boys with the works Chicago style, mustard, ketchup, chilli, onions, pepperochinis, everything you think should be separate but piled together blending to a medley for the senses. When we grab lunch together, talk almost always turns to basketball, kids and his coaching his daughter’s girls basketball team.

His last season with the young girls basketball team had ended, which meant a hiatus from coaching while his kids went through high school. I suspect he will attend every game. But for that last team he had coached, he wanted to write each girl a letter and tell her how proud he was to had had the privilege to coach her. We tossed ideas back and forth, and he shared that in high-school the football coach wrote just such a letter, and how a simple letter could lite a flame of inspiration. I told once as a small skinny eighth grader, I chased someone down and because his old jersey was so large I was able to tackle him by a single thread and save a touchdown, and the ninth grade coach came over and shook my hand.

Funny how we both remember grownups who took time to believe in us and acknowledge us. Well the cheeseburger ( did I say Portillo’s burgers taste great too ) was excellent and here it is hours later and I am still smiling. Not because the burger was great but because like the tide, life changers lift all hopes.

One of my coaching adventures is here: It’s a girl thing


29 Comments on “life changers”

  1. […] Alagan and billgncs posted last week about โ€œlifechangersโ€: people who played pivotal roles in their lives. Eric […]

  2. Wow that brings back memories. Sometimes just a few encouraging words can change a young persons life. I was a young guy employed at a service station, pumping gas and repairing cars while I worked my way through college (no silvers spoons for me). I didn’t think the owner even liked me until one day in the front of the entire crew he told them that I was the guy he depended on to make his money and he really appreciated my hard work. These few word were like a spark which ignited a feeling that I wasn’t a loser and I could succeed in life. Even when the work load and school load seemed impossible, I would remember his words. After college I ended up buying that business and eventually several others. This just goes to show that words change things.

    Maybe that is why Jesus is identified as the Logos, the word.

  3. beebeesworld says:

    Thanks for reading Victorian Romance! beebeesworld

  4. Amazing how powerful our words are. I toss those words of encouragement around in my head when I am down. I always think of that verse in the Bible, the tongue is a tiny vessel but it has power of life and death.

  5. frizztext says:

    life-changer – an important term you’ve created and a nice story!

  6. […] Alagan and billgncs posted last week about “lifechangers”: people who played pivotal roles in their lives. […]

  7. nightlake says:

    These life changers come, change our lives and disappear. Some don’t even wait for us to thank them. a wonderful story

  8. Blood-Ink-Diary says:

    My dear friend, ’twas a great delight to read this post ! I had a few minutes and stopped by (still away from blog, but there were a few comments awaiting my approval) and checked your blog ! Shall spare some time at weekend to read YOU !
    until then….keep shining. Love & hugs.

  9. […] I read a post by billgncs in his blog bwthoughts entitled โ€œlife changersโ€ […]

  10. Read this on my lunch break (salad and tofu). Your friend sounds like a great person to know!

  11. Shannon says:

    I agree with mindfuldiary. You certainly have been an inspiration for me! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. mindfuldiary says:

    You’re so right. Life changers just carry this glow inside and it touches everyone they meet. But in this case, I believe it was more like, one life changer recognized another. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. What a great lunch story! Life-changers do just lift one’s spirit don’t they? And then when they actually change YOUR life as in Eric’s story above – WOW – you remember them forever and they inspire you touch others’ lives in the same way…

  14. Eric Alagan says:

    I always secured high grades in school but also hung out with the neighbourhood gang. Yeah, figure that out.

    Walking past a coffee shop one day, a man beckoned to join him for a cuppa. I soon learnt he was a cop in plainclothes. He had a dossier on the gang, including me. The cops were going to bust the gang and he gave me a heads up on account of my school grades. He spent about half an hour laying out the two futures I had โ€“ one led straight to the slammer. Head strong and belligerent as I was, something struck.

    Thanks to him, I think I took the right fork in the road. He was my life changer โ€“ 40 years later, I still remember his name.

    Thank you for your sharing โ€“ it triggered this memory for me.

    – Eric

  15. Clanmother says:

    Those “life changes” open the doors to those of us who don’t even know the door exists. A wonderful post – I am smiling, too!

  16. Cara Thereon says:

    I always have trouble recalling the words someone important or influencial said to me, but I always remember their belief in me. That seems to linger.


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