Lessons From the Grave (Part 5 of 5)

As promised, today’s article is the last in the series of Wisdom for Life and Business. As I close it will be my honor to share with you the poem I wrote for and read for Tommy’s funeral. Let’s get right to it. Here’s Life Wisdom Lesson no. 23.


As Zig so eloquently says, “Money may not be the most important thing on earth, but it’s right up there with oxygen!” It is nice to have the experiences money can buy and therefore success is a good thing. Just remember to keep in mind, as you pursue your dreams and goals, that having a relationship with God, knowing the peace that comes from doing so and

Photo Credit, Kevin Walsh.

Photo Credit, Kevin Walsh.

honoring Him in all you do is more important AND MORE VALUABLE than anything else. See when He’s kept as the main thing you don’t worry, you’re not anxious and you have trust that what is happening in your life is ok. Just focusing on success and money won’t give you that.


One of the things that added to my stress when I returned was the fact that our companies hadn’t made moves forward. My team had maintained, but the progress plans I had made hadn’t been worked on. My emotional reaction to this was disappointment until I remembered a quote I learned to live by a LONG time ago. “A fish stinks from the head down.” This basically told me that I had not equipped them to know how to progress forward on the new things. This, then, was actually GOOD news! I know knew they needed more instruction, better clarification, and greater understanding so they could keep things moving forward without me. Hmmm, this is then good news!


When John and I spoke with our counselor he explained in super simple terms why the way we handled things had had such a positive effect. It’s an absolute truth we’ve known for years, but didn’t realize was at play in the situation of Tom’s death. Perfect love casts out fear. This very simply means when you listen to someone’s heart, and put your own needs second to their’s, they realize it, put their guard down and stop being afraid. In leading other people this is especially good to know. When you allow a person to know you’re interested in what they’re thinking and what they’re feeling, the not only will share these things, they will also trust you as a leader. And when there is trust, success happens. Also true with relationships, kids, spouses, they all respond when love is expressed far above judgment, ridicule or personal feelings.


It’s never easy to be grateful for painful occurrences. Well guess what? You don’t have to be grateful FOR the pain, just be grateful IN the pain. Job never thanks God FOR the trouble he endured during his tests, but he did say, “Yet will I give thanks.” Being grateful IN troubled times leaves us free to find the lessons and even the blessings.


John and I have paid a lot more attention to beautiful sunny days, starry skies at night and the simple pleasure of being with those we love, laughing and talking. Each time we stop and realize how awesome the moment is one of us usually says, “Look at the life Tom is missing!” I say to you with this Life Wisdom Lesson. Don’t take anything for granted, even the tough lessons we learn exist inside of sunny days, in the midst of building a better relationship with another person, or are followed by a funny movie watched at home with someone you love. Life is short; don’t miss it by focusing on the price, rather than the price.


That’s when we grow, when we’re willing to TRULY look at our selves. And when we grow get break past the status quo and achieve things we’ve not achieved before! See, if we’ll be honest enough with our self to look at our behavior we’ll see things in how we handle anger, hurt, reaction and pain that we won’t see when things are yippy-skippy. That’s when I learn more about me, when life gets to me and I observe how I’m handling it.


That one’s pretty self-explanatory. No matter how deep our depression, no matter how big our fear, no matter how hopeless things appear God’s word promises me that nothing can separate me from Him.


When we got off the plane returning home we watched a few couples that were obviously returning form a cruise. Their previous 2 weeks had been filled with the excitement of looking forward to vacation and then the joy of a precious memory made. I was happy for their happiness and was reminded how life goes on. When I returned to Lima, Fitness Insider had already aired its first episode. My heart was warmed as I remembered how Tommy’s nature was to call everyone he knew (even if he’d just met you the night before!) and brag on something exciting that was happening to someone he knew. He would have told everyone about the TV show! What a neat legacy— to spread someone else’s exciting news… life does go one. I wonder, how much better and more joy-filled would our life be if we spread someone else’s exciting news everyday? How much better would it be if we chose to LOOK for exciting news to spread?

To close this article I’d like to share The Connector. That’s what Tom was, a connector, he brought people together and caused them to be friends, even family in some cases. It’s my honor to share what I shared with those closest to him.

The Connector

Perhaps the first time you met him, for a moment, you knew him as Tom
Forever after he was Tommy, and you immediately knew his song
His song was a song of connection, he joined- he attached- he combined
He merged us together in relationship. Because of Tommy you and I share a tie

The Connector… of Relationships

You see families aren’t just born- they’re made. They’re birthed when a connection’s created
He bridged gaps and multiple groups became one group, made a family, though not blood related
If you look to your right and your left right now the chances run very high, that with the people sitting around you, you share a very deep tie
And the chances also run very steep at some point you were connected by Tom, he brought so many of us together and gave a bond- oh so strong

The Connector… of Family

His laugh was MORE than contagious, the place lit up when he entered again.
And though he’d arrive just ‘a little bit late’ once Tommy got there the party began.
In poverty or the richest person on earth, a woman of 90 whose prime had passed
When Tommy came near the laughter began. His ‘you matter’ impression would last

The Connector… of Laughter

He’d brag to the world what YOU had accomplished. Your news was the biggest news
Something you’d done or something you said. “I’m proud of…” then your name he’d use
On 2 and even 3 cell phones he’d talk, connectors must stay connected you know
The greatest new restaurant, a great deal at Costco, or a place he just KNEW you’d want to go
From Cleveland to L.A. and all points between, he’d sing and he’d dance and he’d toast
He reminded you to be proud of YOU, you knew you were the one he loved MOST!

The Connector… of Pride in Family and Friends

A question and point as I end this rhyme for Tommy, our connector on this earth
Will WE connect people like he taught us to do, connecting WITH others to show them their worth?
Will we proudly declare the legacy of Tom Krech when we meet a new face?
Will we make them feel on top of the world, showing the connector’s love and grace?

Even today, in this room, he’s the connector with the multitude of emotions we feel
As we remember his love be reminded of God’s love and how it is so very real
See, when we don’t know how, or just can’t pray about this The Word says Christ prays FOR us on our behalf
Now THAT’S a connection that truly does last… and last… and last

The Connector… Of The Legacy of Staying Connected

I ended my poem by telling the friends and family in attendance how mine and John’s goal was to bring peace and hope to this situation and how Tommy allowed John and I to share our faith with him. And how next to sending His son to die for us, the most amazing promise, perhaps, in the Bible is in Romans 8. It says, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angles nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, now anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from God’s love- that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And when we accept that promise there’s another one. “When we don’t know what to pray The Spirit himself intercedes with groans that words cannot express.” He’s saying “See that one Father, she’s angry, bring her peace. That one is hurting so badly, calm him and give him comfort and hope. And that one, he’s confused, give him clarity of mind.” Do you get this? It says Jesus HIMSELF is sitting at the right hand of God praying FOR us. WOW! Nothing separating us from God’s love, Jesus himself praying FOR us. These promises are BIG. Just like Tommy. Everything he did was BIG. He lived big, he loved big! Tommy- the connector- he loved you BIG. No matter who you are, as these words fall on your ear- he loved you. And the connector would have you be connected to the biggest love of all. He would have you be connected to The Connector, one that connects you to a love that will last all eternity.

Thank you my Thin&Healthy family. Thank you for allowing me these weeks to share my heart and the lessons I believe help all of us. Thank you for letting me be very frank as I typed. I know I shared some hurts and some candid thoughts. Please know my behavior reflects all I’ve shared in these lessons. By the way— God is always GOOD! The lawsuit I told you about has never come to fruition. My plan is to send Lisa a love letter very soon. Please know that YOU, reading this, are loved. You are loved and it is INDEED a great day to be alive!

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