Five life lessons for us all - in memory of Jedidiah Lusk

A parent shares words of wisdom in memory of her son...

Editor’s note: Jedidiah Lusk was just 9 when he died of a brain tumor Jan. 3, 2011. When his classmates graduated from Pioneer-Quincy Elementary School last Thursday evening he was with them — in a dedication printed in their program, in a special chair placed near their seats, and in the words of his mother, Cynthia Lusk, one of the speakers. Lusk talked briefly about her son and his accomplishments and then presented five lessons to the children that she said he would want to share — the first inspired by a sign he saw during a trip sponsored by the Make a Wish Foundation. The following are excerpts from her speech, which we think are worth sharing, and pertinent at any age.

Cynthia Lusk

First point: Life is short; eat dessert first. And Jedidiah adopted that motto for the rest of his life. So that is my first point. Appreciate what you have, when you have it. It is OK to enjoy the moment!

Second point: Be kind to each other. Continue to show the same kindness throughout your life, that you showed to Jedidiah, here at school when he returned after cancer treatments. His hair fell out, his body doubled in weight, and he came back in a wheelchair. He was pretty much unrecognizable from the little boy everybody knew in Mrs. Lemnah’s third-grade class. But not once did I ever hear any child in this school make fun of Jedidiah. You all showed kindness and respect to him.

Third point: When you are climbing the ladder of life, pull others up with you! On the ladder of life, everyone climbs at their own rate. If your buddies below you need assistance, don’t hesitate to help. Don’t worry if others climb higher or faster than you; encourage them anyway. Maybe they got a better grade than you, or made the position on that sports team that you really wanted, but did not get. But remember, those are the ones who will be pulling you up later on, when you need it most! Don’t be jealous. Simply encourage others, all the time!

Fourth point: Life is not fair! Don’t expect it to be. Don’t waste time whining and complaining that life is not fair. Get over it and move on. Jedidiah and I spoke about that a lot. Personally, we agreed that God is in control, and He knows the overall “Big Picture.” But we don’t always get to see all the pieces to the puzzles at one time … so we don’t always understand what is happening at the present time. But don’t worry about it; Jedidiah did not. He put his trust in Jesus Christ and let God be in control.

Fifth point: Help without being asked. Take the initiative to help your parents around the house. Taking responsibility in your life is very important! It is a huge part of growing up. There is a lot to learn about life. Helping other people and giving of yourself is essential for your success. Think about this … if everything works out well for you — in six short years you will be graduating high school seniors and well on your way to becoming full-fledged adults. We welcome you! 

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