Losing A Who (348)

After today I’ll be away the rest of the week because I lost another WHO in my life.

Who you surround yourself with matters!

I’ve surrounded myself with some important WHOs. Over the weekend I lost one of them, a very close family friend I’ve known all my life. His son, Stanley, was my lifelong best friend. I lost Stanley on May 12, 2013 (I mentioned Stanley in another podcast I produce at LeaningTowardWisdom.com). Johnny Elmore was his father, an evangelist and a mentor of mine. That him in the black suit just after he wedded me and Rhonda almost 42 years ago. Johnny had just celebrated his 88th birthday, but he was in poor health. Still, we were all quite surprised by his sudden passing in his sleep.

But I’m not here to talk about me or him so much as to remind you of how important it is to invest in the WHOs in your life. Because when you lose a who you realize what you’ve lost.

The wisdom. The challenging questions. The insights. The support. The love. The concern.


As I think of all my time with Johnny and how close I was to his entire family I’m sad for the loss, but thankful to have had the relationship for so long. I may have gone my entire life not knowing Johnny all that well.

The hours invested in conversation with him about the Bible and matters of faith that have served to help me be who I am…would not have happened. The hours spent laughing and enjoying the snarkiness and shared humor…I’d have missed out on those, too.

But I didn’t miss out. I took advantage. And as we begin this new week, and a new month, the last month of 2019 I’d like to encourage you to take advantage of the people who surround you. The people who can provide you with wisdom, challenging questions, insights, support, love and concern.

Lastly, I’d like to urge you to be that WHO for others, too. All around you are people who need your wisdom, challenging questions, insights, support, love and concern. Will you give it to them today? You should. It’s the best way I know to create a legacy…a place of such importance that you’re missed. Not merely because a familiar face is gone, but because of the impact you had on the lives of others.

Be well. Do good. Grow great.

Lord willing, I’ll talk to you again next week.


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