I have an interesting side story to THIS ARTICLE in the Deseret News. First, click on THAT LINK to read the article in Deseret News, and then come back here to finish reading.
Caught you! I AIN’T NOBODY’S FOOL! Don’t cheat. Read THE ARTICLE and then continue reading here.
Okay, now you’re ready.
The same sportswriter, Jeff Call, who wrote that article also covered my team when I played basketball at BYU in 2002.
After my senior season, he wanted to write about how I turned down a chance to play in the WNBA because of my decision to keep the Sabbath day holy and not play on Sundays. However, the story was never printed. I wanted to remain out of the spotlight, so I declined to have the article written. I regret that decision. I thought I was being selfless by not seeking attention through the publication of my story. Today, however, I consider this decision to be selfish because I missed the opportunity to help others. Even though I was heartbroken to give up my dream of playing professionally, I was passionate about keeping the promise I made to no longer play sports on Sundays. In hindsight, this could’ve been an influential message to younger athletes who were trying to navigate both their athletic careers and spirituality. I didn’t realize it then, but it was a missed opportunity to share a message. I don’t want that to happen again.
When I was surprised by BYU over a month ago with the news of my dreams coming true, I knew I wanted to share my message this time around.
I have appreciated the writers and reporters who have shared my story. I am now asking you, my friends and family, to share this story. If my message resonates with you at all, or if you think it can help someone you know, will you please repost and share this on social media, through email, or however it is that you prefer to share information?
My message is in my writing throughout my blog. But it is also here in a NUTSHELL:
I want people to know that life really is short! We don’t know when our time will be up. So please stop wasting time on things that don’t matter. I’ll name a few, in case you’re at a loss…
There’s no time for gossip. Stop talking about other people! We really don’t have a clue what it’s like to be another person, so why are we pretending to know all the answers for them?! Stop judging others. Worry more about how you can improve yourself, instead of thinking of ways other people should improve. Stop stereotyping. Stop worrying about what you look like. Or worrying about having a perfectly clean house. Do those things you have always wanted to do but always had an excuse not to do them. Take that vacation. Start that business. Don’t be afraid of mistakes. Write that story. Have awkward, emotional conversations. Take risks. Make time for loved ones. Tell them how you REALLY feel. Stop thinking that your voice doesn’t matter. Consider each new day a bonus.
I don’t pretend to have all this perfected or figured out. I’m writing this at 4:25am, knowing that tomorrow, I mean today, I will struggle to function. And I won’t have time to relax or nap. AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT! I have so many things going on in my life right now. I am starting a non-profit organization to share my passion of sports and faith. I’m starting a benefit corporation to help cancer patients as they undergo chemotherapy. Oh, and I have this blog called FiveYearsToLive.org that I try to write on every once in a while. Oh, and by the way, I have three small children that need my attention ALL DAY. My struggle is trying to balance my time between these business endeavors and my family. I haven’t figured it out yet. I don’t know if I ever will. I just know that I don’t want to look back at my life and have regrets of not pursuing my passions.
Most people view the plight of a terminal cancer patient as depressing. I get it. But, cancer has also given me a unique perspective and appreciation of life.
I want people to know that I’M NO LONGER AFRAID OF DYING. I’M AFRAID OF NOT LIVING.
May you GET BUSY LIVING and forget about the rest.
what a great article! I’m so happy you had the time of your life in NC, Mel! It sounds like it was amazing. There are so many good people in the world. It warms my heart! I sure love you!