‘All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
And one man in his time plays many parts,….’
As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII William Shakespeare
Life can be likened to the seasons of nature.
We, first, are young and blooming and the sap is rising and we are ready to meet the challenges that life has for us.
Then, we excel under the bright sun shine of summer. We grow and flourish with each passing day…and we, even, have to engage in some weeding…on a regular basis.
And, in the autumn of our lives…our colors are most brilliant…and our accomplishments are great…and we feel the slowing process of time.
In the winter we warm ourselves by the fireside of our memories and we lean on our faith and our family.
I woke up to the sad news of the passing of our universities chancellor, Dr. Carlo Montemagno. Chancellor Montemagno had announced to the university community, in June, that he was battling cancer.
I had the privilege of hearing him speak, on more than one occasion, but the last time that I had the honor was at a Presbyterian Men’s group meeting, last month.
I had always been inspired by the chancellor’s words…but never more so than that, evening, meeting of our church group and my connection with Carlo and his care for others and his struggle and humanity.
I could see that Carlo did not feel well…and that a lesser man and leader…probably would have not been there.
His words regarding his desire to see SIUC, flourish once again, and to ensure that the faculty and staff were considered and protected and valued by him…in the most difficult times that our university has experienced…were heart warming.
Many times the greatest of leaders…are the most misunderstood.
My friend, Jeff, asked me that last time that we visited he and Margo, if I thought about my mortality…much?
I said that I often considered our earthly lives…the foyer of the house of our dreams.
It is the audition for something much greater than we can imagine or conceive.
When the door opens…we will think…what was I worried about?