When the life of the party dies…

Hello! I’m Katie.

Life is way too short. And sometimes the life of the party dies. And the music stops. But, it seems only for a short time before the next verse plays. So, while we’re here, we need to leave a trace of our song.

Right before delivering a keynote in North Dakota, I received the most unexpected sadness. My 41-year-old “life of the party” friend – bursting with energy, hugs, and love – was now gone. And we were left devastated. Because Bubba was so full of life, the contrast of death seemed incomprehensible.

Bubba was a bubbly, joyful kind of guy.
Big hugs.
Burly embraces.
Enormous receptions at every encounter!
Frankly, Chris “Bubba” Enget simply loved BIG.

His tender heart was an open book. And he filled each section with his people. His clan. Of course, his favorite chapter was his precious children, and the love of his life. But everyone had a place in Bubba’s book. From his childhood friends, to college buddies, to the patients and staff who received his tender nursing care in the emergency room. Everyone was special in Bubba’s eyes. Everyone was a friend.

Sometimes we lose touch with our dear friends. Life gets too busy. Our interest change, and miles separate us. Sometimes friends quietly fade. Others we have to let go. But, Bubba was a pick-up-wherever-you-left-off friend.

Bubba and Katie

Shortly before his sudden death, I randomly shared a few Bubba stories with my oldest son. More fond memories surfaced that week when I stumbled on an old photo album I forgot existed. Although I hadn’t seen Bubba in quite some time, Bubba was on my mind. Friends just have that kind of connection. So, it really should not be a surprise when my eye caught a special sign the day of Bubba’s brain aneurysm. The day he left.

Even when we’re shattered and hurt, life goes on. In my brokenness, I reluctantly gave a 55-minute keynote to rural ND women – that night. I’m not sure it was really inspiring, but it was honest. Life is a Highway… ROLL ON!

After the crowd cleared and it grew dark, I left the building. It was dark and lonely and fatigue was heavy, but a reflection from the streetlight caught the edge of an marking Traced in the once-soft concrete was:

K.K.

My nickname.

Only one person in this world calls me K.K. and that’s BUBBA.

KK the mark

We never know how long we have.
But, we don’t have to live long to live a good life.
Just love BIG.

Give all humankind a place to BELONG.
And freely give love. And be loved.

That’s how we leave our mark.

Bubba

Bubba. Well done. Good and faithful friend. Well done.

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Make way for the rough patches…

A few weeks back, I met a couple so in love – celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary! It was easy to see – they were absolutely wild about each other! For you and for me, I wanted to know their secret.

Without a minute of hesitation, the man who chose this woman to have and to hold for life looked deep in my eyes and shared the secret no one wants to talk about. “It’s not easy.”

Whether its marriage, school, friendships, family relationships, teammates, or business colleagues – we are made to handle the difficult times – but how can we do it?

Here’s 3 quick Katie tips for handling the rough roads….

1. Hope. Clinging to hope can carrying you through. Its really the greatest gift of all. Hope’s best friend is Believe. Hang onto both!

2. Call in support. Your family and your friends love you so very much. Be frank. Be assertive. And take care of yourself. Their love and prayers may be just enough to get you over the hill – to see with a new perspective!

3. Honest. Be honest with yourself. Only you can define your core values. Be bold in your actions. Be kind in your thoughts. Be a friend to yourself.

Always remember – you are loved.

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Prom kids refuel their station manager’s heart…

Prom night – and these kids had a grand night on their mind and in their hearts!
On a night where they’ve never felt more beautiful – or more special –
they wanted to share it with one of their biggest fans.
The fuel station manager.
Donna.
Donna’s heart only has one fight – the fight to live.
And… these kids want to see her live happy.

With a twinkle in the teen’s eyes – they left the school.
This small town worries about kids’ choices on that night and many others.
They were set to show – their hearts are made to love.

prom-kids

They left with a plan. A private grand march in the living room of Donna.
She’s filled their gas tanks. She filled their hearts.

They all met outside her home on a cold Saturday night in North Dakota.

“Why are all those kids going to the post office on prom night?” – Donna laughed and wondered aloud to her long-time husband, Nick, as they looked out the living room window.

The kids were on a special delivery. Priority mailing.
To bring cheer to the home of their cup filler.

Donna made countless smoothies for them on warm summer afternoons.
She’s sold gas to fill their tanks. They talk. She listens.
She’s wished them well before ball games, and she’s there to hear about their losses.
Donna spent a lifetime refueling – and they wanted to fuel her!

Grandma-Donna

Couples linked their arms, and went into her living room.
Standing before her – they were star struck.
Their Donna.
THEIR beautiful Donna. Fighting cancer – and not losing her smile!
This time they were holding the hose – refueling HER.
Everyone was overwhelmed.
That’s what love does.
It overwhelms us – especially when its love you’ve first given away – and it comes back to you.

The kids smiled with pride. I’ve grown up.
Donna’s played tag in the aisles of that gas station with them. When they were younger.
She’s cleaned their spilled drinks. No harm done, she’d say.
She’s given them free donuts. And invited them to sit and eat.

Donna-and-family

She knows their favorite drink. She knows their favorite sport.
She’s mixed paint for their homes. She knows all of their families by name.
She’s not fuzzy and soft – she’s honest and understanding.

The kids went to refuel their tank –
But when they came out of her home –
Once again, she had refueld them.

Not a one kid was looking at their cell phone.
No one browsing for something they could be missing.
Because everything that fills the goodness of hearts had just happened to them.
That moment was all they needed. all she needed.
And… the love shines on.

Grandma-Donna-and-Melva

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It’s a new day: let’s run.

Running keeps a family together!

Running keeps a family together!

Does a singer need a Country Music Award to be a “star?”  Do we have to win a race to be a “runner”?

My P.R. is mine – but nothing to brag about. My split isn’t negative. 50-state runner’s club: not a member. I may never run a full. But, I’ve logged hundreds of S-L-O-W miles. I’m a Mom who loves to run!

I stay outside of the circle of being called a “runner.” I reserved it for the fast ones. The athletic. the graceful. the chiseled muscled humans. For just about anyone – but me.

After Boston’s tragedy –  many people, like this Mom,  with great pride stepped into the runner’s circle.  The worldwide runner’s family.

Like the burning muscles after a long run, our hearts tightened for the loved ones on the sidelines, and the ones who were steps from completing their marathon – their journey. And the ones who were hoping to make their personal history.

The fans are a runner’s life line. Our energy. Our push. Strangers become encouragers. So many times, they understand the sacrifice and months of dedication it takes to cross the line. The aching muscles, the euphoria.

Crying at the news at the Boston finish line, and begging for answers…  my legs twitched.  Burning for a good run. Go out. Run far. Run faster than yesterday. Run for them. Run for the brokenness of the world! Go run… 

We run for change. We run for a better tomorrow.

Digging deep… we will keep running!  to remember. to resolve. to restore. to recreate a beautiful love for the finish line.

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We are RADIATING RUNNERS with a remarkable resilience.

*** We’re always looking for more members of our runner’s family! If this Mommy can do it…. anyone can!!!!

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Light my world…. tell me what you see!

Real winners were everywhere in our school speech contest today... but these four have honors that they get to hang on their wall!

Real winners were everywhere in our school speech contest today… but these four have honors that they get to hang on their wall!

“Her left eye is blindness. Her right eye nearly blind.

But don’t worry about her. She’s learned to see from her heart.

And when you learn to see from your heart, you will always have light.”

  • a very wise 5th grade North Dakota girl.

She spoke softly, yet everyone in the gymnasium was listening.

Her chocolate eyes peered above her speech contest’s papers, witnessing. Seeing.

Absorbing all the emotion.

You could almost hear the kids’ peeling back their minds to understand a girl who looks different. A girl who stands our in their school.

This brave sister shared a glimpse of an unknown, dark and scary world her nearly-blind sister lives. And showed the kids that her sister has overcome – and sees light everyday! Its in the way her sister treats others. In the way she chooses to live.

Tears streamed our cheeks as this heart-felt child poured her soul. She shared her admiration for her big sister. A precious bond. Blood, or no blood… an attachment.

“She’s the bravest person I know,” this young elementary student concluded.

A smile and a plea were on her face. get to know my sister.

She gracefully ambled her way back to her seat.

I wanted to jump to my feet! She deserves a standing ovation….

But, I sat glued to that folding chair. I wish I would have jumped!

That young lady gave us new eyes. A different perspective to an old student.

She was the voice to enlighten. The wisdom to guide.

A reminder of people we often overlook. Ones we don’t take a moment to understand, or to help.

Because this sister spoke up…. she stood up in front of her peers, her elders, and enlightened… She chooses a happier world!

Simple messages from our kids really can be our BEACONS!!! 

Good nutrition is an momentous part of leading a wholesome lifestyle. How can medications help us? What can customers get without prescription? There are many medicaments for either diseases. At present hundreds articles were published about price of cialis. What may patients discuss with a doctor before capture Viagra? How you can get correct information about “”? The very significant problem you must look for is “cialis tadalafil“. Undoubtedly, sexual diseases can soothe chronic hurt and, even more importantly, reaffirm the joys of living. You should not take any drug if you are allergic to it’s ingredients. If you have a feeling that someone might have taken an overdose of this preparation, go to the accident department of your local hospital as soon as possible.