"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things."

~ Niccolo Machiavelli, historian and writer

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Fond Farewell to a Very Good Friend

Shortly after noting that writing has been light here, I stumbled across some very sad news. The man who started me blogging in the first place (known as your "blogfather" in the blogging world) died suddenly and very unexpectedly on March 6th.

I know that fact has nothing to do with either disability or the law, but I share it hoping you will understand when posting likely doesn't pick up any too quickly.

And because it only seems fitting in a way - there were two people, totally unknown to the other, whose actions resulted in the birth of this blawg and Lex was one of them. He got me blogging on The Flight Deck, which gave me a comfort level with the whole idea, so that although at first it sounded a little wacky when Blair suggested I start to blog on these issues, it wasn't out of the realm of the possible. Blogging, yeah, I knew how to do that.

It also goes to show, I suppose, that, like all of us, I have (or at least try to have) a life outside of disability issues, way outside of disability issues. Hopefully, we all have other interests or hobbies. Have them. The time we may get to spend on them, being an altogether different matter.

So as a little peak into the other side of my life ... my interest in flight and my love of reading various thriller books (particularly, at the time, those by Tom Clancy) ultimately led to my attachment to a very special blog written by, of all people, an American naval aviator.

I know ... who would have thought it?

But that man, I tell you, that man could write. And not only could he put you in the cockpit with the young aviator trying to manage his first night traps on a carrier, no matter what he spoke of or about, it almost always felt like he was speaking to you. Directly to you.

He wrote a lot on current events (aka politics), too and although we often didn't see eye to eye (his politics being somewhat to the right of mine), it was always done in such a respectful, logical, reasoned and reasonable matter that you couldn't help but listen and at least try to understand from whence he came.

And he was always open to a different point of view; discussions could become heated at times but he would never allow them to denigrate into anything even remotely resembling those hateful swear-filled debacles that anyone who has spent much time online is all too familiar with. Not in his house.

"Attack the message, if you must, but not the messenger", he would say. And "We're all friends here", he would remind us.  Yes, friends we all were.

After 6+ years I came to know Lex more than a bit, from email correspondence, from reading his blog and from blogging on The Flight Deck.  I came to know how much he loved his family, how much he loved his country. And what kind of man (and officer) he was. And I am very, very sad to see him gone.

Rest in peace, Capt. Carroll "Lex" Lelon, U.S. Navy, Ret'd. And, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything.

I wish you knew my friend. Might I suggest you could do far worse than spending a few minutes reading this.

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So. All that being said, I came across this great article today, via Linked In, and I just had to share it with you.

Many (most, all?) of us are familiar with IPPs, no? And we know that the same documents in the United States are generally referred to as IEPs. Well, have you ever been motivated to write one yourself? Perhaps for your child's school? To, you know, help them meet appropriate outcomes and overcome their challenges?

Check out Gregory Branch's article entitled "If Schools Could Have IEPs..." and don't forget to read the additional "outcomes" set out in the comments. I needed a chuckle today. Perhaps you do too.

1 comment:

william said...

Thanks Michelle, If it wasn't for lex we would have never known about each other, much less become friends with each other and so many others too boot!