Neither is this post - Compelling. Vulnerable. Beautiful.
One day, when I must have been a particularly meddlesome six-year-old, my grandfather said, "You know, at birth every person gets a certain quota of words allotted to them for life. It's impossible to tell how many words anyone has, the numbers vary widely, but when you've spoken all of your words, you die." This affected me deeply and I immediately resolved to horde my remaining lot. For the rest of the day, I expressed my demands by mumming, pointing and stomping until my grandfather told me that gestures counted even more than spoken words. Foiled, I started to worry about how many words I had needlessly burned through in my careless six years. From then on, I thought, every word I speak had better be really necessary. This is how I learned about economics.
Phil has lived an interesting life - he obviously has had a model of what it means to be interesting. What does it look like? To be interesting? To be someone who gives out little pieces of yourself to others -- pieces so full of meaning that they last like that? I think it is about dimensions, about teaching a little boy the power of language while you teach him about what it means to love someone for close to a century. I think that those are the people I want to know. I want to know all 600 sides of you. Of Phil. Of Phil's grandfather. Don't you?
My grandfather and grandmother were married and inseparable for almost 75 years. She died a year and a half ago and he didn't speak much after that, although I don't think that it was because he was trying to stretch out his days. He died peacefully at the age of 99 and we buried him today.
I do a lot of talking. It's pretty much my entire job. Right now, I'm sitting in the airport departure lounge getting ready to fly for a few meetings and two speeches. I'm going to pare down my PowerPoint decks a bit. Probably not every word is really necessary. I'm going to try to make it last a week this time.
Phil, every one of the words in this post was necessary. Your grandfather would be proud.