Some moments in life grab hold of you. Sometimes these moments are life-changing, but for the most part they are simply reminders. Reminding us to be well, live life to its fullest, laugh just a little more and love each other.
A moment like this one had struck me in 2001. I was just finishing up my workout at a Health Club in downtown Minneapolis and felt energized with what I had accomplished that day. I was on my way to a better self.
While in the locker room, a man walked up to me and asked, “What does your tattoo mean?”
Having the tattoo for a few years on my shoulder, I was always anxious to tell others my story. The tattoo has a unique “pyramid shaped” symbol with the letters E H F A R underneath. I explained to him that it’s the acronym for EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON, and that it’s a philosophy I live by. I could tell he was pleasantly surprised as he responded with, “Way Cool!”. He went on to tell me that he had never heard of it before and that my explanation had made his day. The man went on his way and I was gleaming with pride. I felt that I may have made a little difference in someone that day.
The very next week at around the same time, I had just finished another workout. While opening up my locker, another man had come over to greet me and extended his hand. This is one of those moments I will never forget.
The soft-spoken man said, “You’re the EHFAR guy. I just want to say thank you.”
After a moment of confusion, I asked, “What do you mean?”
He explained that the week prior, he had overheard my conversation with the man asking me about my tattoo. He went on to share with me how EHFAR had changed him. After the man had overheard my story, he traveled to Rochester, Minnesota to see his son in the hospital. His son was at Mayo Clinic battling cancer and fighting for his life. He said that when he held his son that evening, he told his son that everything happens for a reason, and that there’s a reason for this. He strongly embraced his son and said, “We’re going to get through this.”
After hearing this, I could feel the presence of something amazing and great. After taking a moment to catch my breath, I asked, “How’s your son doing?”
He responded, “He’s still fighting, he’s a strong kid!”
You see, this small moment had actually moved onto another moment, giving a dad and his son a sign of hope. I don’t know where the dad and his son are today, but my sense is that he is where he’s supposed to be, and for a reason.
This was one of the stories that taught me EHFAR is powerful, much more than just an acronym. EHFAR has reach. It reminds us all to take a moment. We can all give people hope by sharing stories just like this one…wouldn’t it be great to hear their story first-hand?
First Published on: November 29, 2007