“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove… but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.” ~ Forest E. Witcraft
You’ve probably seen this quote many times before. The words are powerful. The words shift influence in the world away from material things and place them upon things that matter more – intrinsic substance and matters of the heart.
I thought of this quote recently when I pondered the indelible mark that Mo Gaba left upon our world. Despite life threatening factors that may have forced the strongest of men to recoil and live a reclusive life, Mo’s spirit, infectious laugh and unwavering positivity was as daily as the sunrise, right up to his last breath on July 28.
If Forest Witcraft had the pleasure of meeting Mo, I don’t think he’d challenge this imaginary adaptation of his eloquence:
“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. What will matter is that regardless of the adversity I faced, no matter its severity, I viewed each day as a gift, spread positive vibes, encouraged kindness and loved ,while inspiring others to do the same. Because these are the things that echo in eternity.” ~ Mosilla “Mo” Gaba
I visited with Mo and his lovely Mom, Sonsy on July 8. I learned then that Mo’s time was limited and his life expectancy was inside of two months. The day we met, Mo had a rough day. His brain cancer was spreading and it triggered massive headaches. He had medicine to ease the pain but at times, he would refrain from ingesting it because it made him sleepy. So, he toughed out the interview and declined offers to reschedule.
It was as if he knew he might not have another opportunity to do the interview. It meant something to him.
During the interview, Mo curled up in his bed in a near fetal position. He spoke softly. I couldn’t imagine what he was going through, what went through his mind and body. Yet he did the best he could. He embraced the grind.
Sometime after our meeting, Mo, knowing that he was physically incapable of attending the 2020 season opener at Camden Yards, recorded this message in advance for the Orioles.
“We wish we could be there with you,” Mo said. “But we are cheering as loud as we possibly can. … You’ve been so supportive of me and I consider you some of my friends.”
“Keep fighting, keep grinding. I believe in you. Let’s go O’s.”
The day after Mo’s passing the Baltimore Orioles honored Mo by placing him in the team’s Hall of Fame and by sharing this message in Mo’s memory prior to the start of their home opener on July 29.
I’ve written about Mo before, a few times. I’m likely to write about him again. The lessons he taught us by virtue of the way he lived his life should become our core values. Mo really is the best of us and his approach to life should resonate.
And sometimes we need reminders.