Hope you don’t mind if I take a minute to share a great story that has nothing to do with Web sites or insurance technology. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage, put on some reflective music, and read on…

As I wrapped presents early this morning for some kids in need living in downtown Cleveland, something that IdeaStar does every year for the Phyllis Wheatley Josephine Kohler Academy, I smiled at the thought of my friend Pat and his son, Patrick. Last summer, I invited a bunch of guys to a retreat at the Gund Arena. Pat, a fellow tenor from choir, opted-in and took his 12-year-old son.

Pat and Patrick lost their wife and Mom three years ago to cancer. Needless to say, it’s been really hard on both of them. When they sat down in their seats at The Gund, Patrick pointed up to the loge seating area and said to his Dad, “I wish I could sit up there in those seats.” Pat explained that those were special seats. Later on, young Patrick’s heart was pricked by something and said, “I’m mad at God for taking Mom away from me. Why did he do that? I don’t care what you say, I don’t think it was fair. I’m going for a walk.”

About 15 minutes later, Patrick returned to his seat with a ticket in hand for a loge seat!!! When asked how he happened to get the ticket, Patrick said he followed the signs for the Loge seating. As he entered the elevator, a man jumped in and asked Patrick where he was going. Before he knew it, Patrick had the ticket and came back to show Dad. “Do you think God heard me when I said I wanted to sit up there? Let’s see if it works?” Pat was a little nervous to go up to the loge — two of them, only one ticket, hmmmm.

At the entrance to the loge, Pat saw the company name, knocked on the door, introduced himself, and explained the situation. The company rep said, “What’d you say your last name was?” Pat responded. The guy said, “Do you know so-and-so?” Pat said, “Yeah, that’s my uncle!” “Well, that’s one of my favorite people in the whole world — come on in!!!”

On the drive home, young Patrick said, “Maybe God DID have some special purpose for Mom in heaven. I still miss her, but I don’t think I’m mad at God anymore.” Pat smiled through his tears…

I love this time of year because of stories like this. It reminds me that there is more to life than work. Hope you have a blessed time with family and friends these next few weeks… It’s snowing in Cleveland!