I’ve been waiting for today for a long time. The questions are written, the website memberships are all set up. Even my first huge partner, the Alzheimer’s Association, is ready to use the app this weekend for their first of three Walks for Alzheimer’s. Thousands of people are going to see the results of a lot of people’s creative energy, unique perspectives and long hours – all in a cute, easy-to-use app.
But today’s also 9/11, an emotional day for a new beginning. A good day for reflecting, and remembering. Especially the people in my life who have passed away since 9/11, but left a big imprint on my life, and each in their way, an important inspiration for what I’ve built. I wanted to make sure that anyone who wanted to tell their story had an easy, affordable and instantly accessible way to do so.
I met my friend Dan at Launchhouse, a Cleveland business incubator, long after he knew his illness was terminal, but his openness, his warmth, his sheer embrace of living was a force to be reckoned with. Even at lunch on the way to a radiation appointment, he shared his marketing expertise from years working at Crayola, and pulled out a checkbook to commit to a year’s worth of storytelling so his three little kids could hear his voice after he was gone. I wish I could say that happened, and that he hadn’t passed unexpectedly two days before we were scheduled to sit down and record his stories. So I have an emotional debt, one that I can pay now that we are up and running. I can gather the stories from the crazy, wide group of friends, family and colleagues who knew and loved him, and help him leave his legacy for his wife and kids.
On a day like this, it’s good to have such clarity about what you want to do, how you can help people connect, share and leave the stories they need to tell. It’s a good start for a new beginning.