Friday, July 27, 2007

New Info on Grayson

As you all know, Grayson was in remission from Non-Hodgkins lymphoma after he finished chemo and radiation last September. Grayson was going in for 3 month check-ups regularly and was cancer free as of the last testing in the spring.

When Grayson was at Denver Health, one of the doctors asked if we were sure that the cancer hadn't returned and I remember being so mad at that doctor for even mentioning the cancer when we were trying to deal with his brain injuries. The doctor had said that there was cloudiness in his lungs and I thought that it was easily explained by potential pneumonia from being on the respirator, a common complication.

On Tuesday, I spoke with the coroner and they confirmed that the cancer had returned. There was lymphoma in his lower left lobe of the lung and atypical cells in his bone marrow and medialstinum (the area that separates the lungs). Grayson's oncologist had told us that if the cancer were to return, it would likely be in the first year. The prognosis for this type of second line cancer is not good, with a 50% survival, and would require more aggressive chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.

There are so many events surrounding Grayson's accident that lead me to believe that it was Grayson's time to leave us, though it is so hard to imagine why. Why was such a bright, young, vibrant spirit taken from us? I will never understand this while I am here. What I have come to believe is that the Divine showed mercy and let Grayson leave us "high on life" as so many of you said, rather than having a long battle with cancer that would have likely changed his zeal for life and that he may not have survived. This is my view and take it or leave it, but it comforts me to know that there is reason behind this terrible tragedy.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Grayson Pointer Benediction: June 17, 2007

Grayson Pointer Benediction: June 17, 2007

Question of the Day

My name is Andrew Goodwillie and for the last half-dozen years I’ve considered Grayson my best friend.

Today, I’m here to answer a question that constantly running through my mind since Grayson’s accident. A question that virtually everyone asked after hearing about what happened, “What can we do?” “What can we do?”

In the days and weeks after Grayson left us, I rode my bike. I had to ride. I had to wrap my mind around the surreal, nightmarish progression of events and the bike the best tool for the job. I rode to reconcile the loss of my great, loyal friend and search for the path to peace with the seemingly senseless tragedy of his death. On these rides a mantra, of sorts, raced through my mind….

What can we do? What can we do? This is all so horrible. There must be something we can do! What can we do? What can we do? Twenty minutes or three hours, I don’t know. Just riding and repeating: What can we do? What can we do?

The first answers came from dark place sourced by grief, frustration and anger. I was unkind to my body, riding as hard as I could for as long as I could, num to the pain. Then as my emotions soften, and my body could no longer resist, I shifted gears, spinning. I shifted my thinking to the positives - about what made Grayson such a remarkable human and great friend: His boundless energy, for one, his intelligence (I learned so much about life and the world from him), his contagious confidence. And that kid could tell joke, and a story, who knows which ones were really true. I don’t think it’s been mentioned yet: Grayson was an excellent dancer. He saved it for specially occasions, but he had the moves.

My shift in thinking also shifted the question in my mind to,

“What can we do to transform the tragedy to make a positive impact on the world?” The kind of positive impact Grayson clearly made on my life, your lives and on our world.

The accident brought out such an amazing outpouring of genuine kindness, and elemental humanity. The Friday in the hospital when we said good-bye to our friend was brutal, just brutal. Watching a friend, a son, a brother, a husband die is hard. But at the same time as wave after wave of people filled the room, telling their Grayson stories, it was evident, while he was with us, Grayson’s imprint on the world, on so many people’s lives was immense.

So you’ve asked, “What can we do?” What can we do to honor Grayson’s memory? What can we do to demonstrate what we’ve learned from him and show we understand what was important to him.
So what was important to the Grayson? What causes and activities did he invest in?
Cycling, yes, cancer research and survivorship, was an issue that impacted his live and he cared greatly about.

But when close friends and family reflected about what was most important to him the unanimous choice was environment. Grayson build a career cleaning up who knows what in who knows where. The week before the accident Grayson made a job change, taking a similar position at another company. During this process of search in for new opportunities he tried to find a job to be part of the solution to our environmental problems. More than anything he wanted to use his skills and expertise consulting new alternative energy projects – solar or wind power. He and Lauren were a model of taking action to minimize their impact on the environment. They chose to live with one car, two gas-sipping scooters. They were planning an addition to their home with solar panels. They did a whole host of other little things the added up in favor of the environment. Together as team Grayson and Lauren took responsibility finding out what they could do and they took action.

So finally…an answer to: What can we do to remember Grayson?

We have set up the Grayson Pointer Memorial Fund. Details are still being worked out but the fund will support organizations that help protect the environment or promote awareness of environmental issues. That is one important way you can help. Information on how to make a contribution in Grayson’s memory is on the back of the program.

I have one more answer to the question, What can we do to make a positive impact?

Beyond being a great friend during the time of my life when I need one the most, Grayson’s most remarkable characteristic was his seemingly endless reserves of energy. He was a man of constant activity. At work, on the bike, in the community and at home Grayson figured out what needed to be done and did it. Period.

Clearly, the best way to remember Grayson’s is to take action. Action modeled on the way he lived this life - action that embodies his values and hopes for a more habitable earth. I ask you to consider making a change in your own lives. I ask you to take action to minimize your personal or your family’s impact on the planet. It’s hard to imagine how one small change, a singular choice can make much of difference in a flood pollution, waste, and environmental catastrophes, but think about the power of all the people in this room collectively making better more informed choices. It will never be enough to bring back our friend or fill the hole he has left in our lives, but it is a powerful, and meaningful way to remember Grayson beyond today and continue this celebration of his life.

Specifically what can you do? I have to admit that I am a token environmentalist. I do the easy things, I recycle, because I was raised by a notorious cheep skate and my son is now be raised by one, I turn off lights, fans and fight the good fight with my wife over control for the thermostat. I don’t feel like I have the credentials to preach about the subject. My first task is to become better informed about what I can do to minimize my impact on the plant. I know I can do more and with a little effort I will figure out meaningful ways to change my behaviors that will make a meaningful impact.

Environmental Education Resources:

The companion web site to the documentary, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH.

Denver Recycles Home Page

This site contains great information about how your transportation, food, housing, and consumer and other choices impact the plant and it’s helpful “How to” section gives practical advice about implementing life style changes.

A memorial fund in Grayson's honor has been started. Grayson was passionate about the environment. In addition to honoring his memory, this fund will be used to positively impact our planet and environment, as Grayson would have wanted each of us do.

Grayson Pointer Memorial Fund
c/o Washington Mutual, Greg Miller
1038 E.6th Ave
Denver, Co. 80218

Do something. Make a change to honor and remember Grayson Pointer.

Grayson we miss you but we will take action in your name to make the world you left us a better place. We must. We will. Please do something. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

More Information about the Memorial Service

When possible, Lauren has asked that everyone bring a picture of Grayson to leave with her and the family at the memorial service. In addition, she has asked that you not wear black to the service.

There will be an opportunity for anyone who wishes to share their stories, memories, or thoughts about Grayson to do so during the service.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Memorial Service & Reception - June 17th

A Memorial Service and reception will be held to honor and celebrate Grayson's life. The service will be on Sunday, June 17th at the Hudson Gardens in Littleton, CO. The service will begin at 11 am and the reception will immediately follow and last until around 3 pm.

Hudson Gardens & Event Center
6115 South Santa Fe Drive
Littleton, CO 80120
Phone 303-797-8565

Lauren has indicated that anyone who would like to share their memories of Grayson may do so by speaking at the service. In addition, any pictures or remembrances of Grayson to give to Lauren and family would be greatly appreciated. Please contact Catherine Goodwillie at 303-725-6711 to discuss.

Grayson Pointer Memorial Fund

A memorial fund in Grayson's honor has been started. Grayson was passionate about the environment. In addition to honoring his memory, this fund will be used to positively impact our planet and environment, as Grayson would have wanted each of us do.

Grayson Pointer Memorial Fund
c/o Washington Mutual, Greg Miller
1038 E.6th Ave
Denver, Co. 80218

Memorial Ride/Walk Scheduled for June 16th

We will be celebrating Grayson by riding or walking three laps in Washington Park on Saturday, June 16th, at 10am. Please congregate in the open field on the east side Grasmere Lake (the southern most lake). Everyone is welcome and we ask you to please join us to honor Grayson by participating in this event.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Memorial Plans

A memorial service for Grayson is being planned for Sunday, June 17. Lauren has decided that she would like to hold the service someplace outside, possibly in a park. We are working on the details and will be posting more information just as soon as it becomes available.

Grayson and Lauren's Marriage Day

Grayson and Lauren's Marriage Day

Grayson at the 2005 Vuelta

Grayson at the 2005 Vuelta