Today, you’d be 27

Happy Heavenly Birthday, Ian Coronas. We haven’t forgotten you. Not one tiny bit…

WATCH: Ian Coronas’ Celebration of Life Video

You’ve been gone for several years now. I often wonder what you’d be up to today, if only…

What would be added to this video of your brief life?

Wedding photos?

Baby pics?

Sales awards?

New hobbies?

New adventures?

New home?

One thing I know, you’d be the one keeping things “light” during this pandemic. You’d also be the one sneaking out during the stay-at-home orders … I mean there’s just no way.

But you’d always wear your mask to keep others safe — a mask that would probably have something fun printed on it. Starwars maybe? To match your socks.

You’d be supportive of any oppressed group, but you’d also be very puzzled by the violence that’s erupted around the country. You were always inclusive, always the peacemaker.

Despite the state of the world’s current affairs, you’d be optimistic about the future.

I can imagine you walking in the door, flashing your smile, and saying just the right thing to make the world somehow feel balanced again.

On this, your 27th birthday, I can remember you … and I can imagine who you would be.

I’m thankful for that much.

Please enjoy watching Ian’s Celebration of Life video above . Today, let’s remember all the good times.

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“I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 1:4

August 29, 2016, 23rd Birthday (his last one here)

A Laundry Basket Sermon

You opened your Bible and placed it carefully on the podium, which also served as my laundry basket only a few hours earlier. You draped a cloth around your neck and wore the only white long-sleeve dress shirt that you owned.

Your First Communion

You looked out at your audience with only a slight hint of apprehension and drew in a long breath to gather your thoughts. The audience – Dad and I – sat across the room on the living room sofa. I smiled broadly with both my lips and my eyes – the way parents do when they want to encourage their child from a distance.

With your 10-year-old voice that had yet to deepen, you began reading the scripture that you had selected on your own as the basis for this surprising and quite impromptu sermon.  It was the first time you had ever done a sermon in the living room – and the last.

Yet, 17 years later, I remember the details as if they happened yesterday.

“Genesis 22:1 …” you began.

“Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied. Then God said “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

You continued on, reading about Abraham and Isaac’s journey up the mountain and how Isaac eventually questioned his father about the lack of a lamb for the burnt offering.  You continued reading…

…Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.

You looked up from your Bible, making eye contact with your audience.

I was prepared to break out into sanctified applause for a job well done, but before I could do that, dad – who was not yet a Bible reader or regular church goer at that point in his life – asked the tough question. 

“Why did God do that?”

Continue reading “A Laundry Basket Sermon”

No Questions Asked

No questions asked,
I’d trade places with you,
I’d give you more time,
you’d see this life through.

I’d take all the pain,
and the suffering too,
I begged every day,
please God, don’t take you.

Unanswered prayers,
dreams seem to die,
My world without you,
I wondered — who am I?

I gaze into heaven,
Stars beyond what we see,
Envision your new life,
Do you watch over me?

Continue reading “No Questions Asked”

Never Done, Just Due

If there was ever a mantra that fits the world of journalism to a T, it’s the saying, “It’s never done. It’s just due”.

Someone told me this early on in my public relations career, most likely because I have a hard time deciding that my writing is completely finished.  If you write for a living, you know what I mean.  A piece of writing that appears to be “done” at one moment can go through more and more rounds of edits until the deadline is upon you, and you simply must stop working on it. Oh, how you could use just a few more days, a few more hours, or even just a few more minutes to finish the work.

“It’s never done. It’s just due.”

Ian was a writer, too.  It was in his high school years that I recognized his knack for it, as did his teachers. His research was usually quite solid and his thought process on point, but what really made my heart soar was Ian’s ability to turn a phrase with flair and style.  He was on his way to being a true wordsmith.

Continue reading “Never Done, Just Due”