My All Things Great Project

In March 2018, a close family member was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The news was devastating. 😦

Not surprisingly, my eight year old desire to do great things re-surfaced with a vengeance.

Unanswered questions raced through my mind. What if I don’t live to 100 like I planned? What if I die before I have done great things? What if I never make a real difference in anyone’s life? What if…? What if…? What if…?

I vowed to figure out what great means to me… once and for all.

How it began

My mother told me the sad news when I was eight years old. My sister Vanessa Jane died of complications from spina bifida and hydrocephalus when she was four days old. I was born 13 months later.

If my sister had lived, she would have required around-the-clock care. My parents almost certainly would not have had other children. This was a sobering realization for a girl of eight. That year, I decided that I had a duty to do great things (I said this so many times growing up that I lost count) to honor her memory and live the life she didn’t get to enjoy.

The problem is that I never defined what great meant to me; not even when I got older. I spent the better part of 40 years relentlessly pursuing what I thought was great. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but something was always missing. There just had to be more to life, I would say frequently. My husband would look at me patiently. “Why don’t you go for a run, he would say?” You’ll feel great afterwards. I almost always did..

The Project

In honor of my sister, I have begun a journey to define what “great” is, determine what it means to me, take steps to do “great things” and read everything I can on “being great”.

I plan to share updates, thoughts, questions and insights throughout this journey. Please feel free to share questions, ideas, and thoughts as I start my new journey. I would love to hear from you!


Rest In Peace, Vanessa. There are no goodbyes. Where ever you’ll be, you’ll be in my heart. Ghandi

4 thoughts on “My All Things Great Project

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