Thinking Back on Seven Years Ago

It’s been a hectic last few weeks.

As most of you know I opened my own little Nationwide agency on March 1 and have been busy attempting to get clients and get my name and face out in the community and social media-sphere so that when YOU think insurance YOU think THIS GUY!

It’s actually been the most fun I’ve had writing insurance since, well … EVER! And for those of you that have followed me throughout the years you’ll know that to be true. But with owning any small business you know that there is stress that comes along with it. I have to write business or else … well I don’t succeed.

I didn’t write much business the last couple weeks of the month and that stressed me out. What if I fail? What if I run out of quotes? But I have to remind myself that getting out and passing out cards, or doing any sort of marketing is actually considered productive. Thus my “I Heart My Small Town” article that was published in our local newspaper can be considered productive. 

The last few weeks also brought Levi’s first birthday. We made it low-key inviting solely family to the get together. It made things a bit more relaxing and chill, much like the attitude of the Boy of Honor himself. I love him. He’s adorable. ‘Nuff said.

Meanwhile, on top of the new business and kid’s birthday, there was also before-and-after work networking meetings, Youth Group on Wednesdays, basketball on Sundays (and attempting to collect money for it along with having to remind half of the team, twice a week, when our games are), running an NCAA tournament pool (and attempting to collect money for it), running Lukas to and from Little League practice, helping my friend MC a PTO auction, being volunteered to organize a “Dress Green” after-church potluck, being volunteered to put together a slideshow for my parent’s friend’s wedding reception, helping my Mom write a toast for her friend’s wedding reception, attempting to organize our church’s annual Chili Cook-Off (in late-April), and the organization of the ACS Relay for Life. Oh and I have a wife and three kids!

I’m not complaining. I put myself into most of those situations and for the most part I’ve handled it well. But I do have to laugh when my single friends can’t seem to figure out why I can’t spend six hours watching the Final Four with them on a Saturday – at their place! – or why I can’t take off early on a Friday to go to Opening Night for the Seattle Mariners.

But you know what comes along just in the right time to remind you … “Dude! Slow down! All this stuff fails in comparison to what you went through seven years ago today!”

Ah yes, one of the few dates on the calendar – my anniversary and the kids birthdays being the other – that I allow myself to sit, pause and reflect on, or like my ACS Relay for Life Event Co-Chair, and good buddy, Jerry likes to say, “Think Back”.

Sure it’s been seven years but every April 7 when I was either at work, driving to work or … nah, that’s about it … I tend to well up thinking about what happened, what could’ve happened and what has happened in the years since.

If you’re wondering what I’m talking about then … Welcome to Lisy’s Battle with Leukemia!

Brief introduction … it was seven years ago today that I started this journal. I would get home from the hospital, lay my 5-month old son in his crib, or often times he’d wake up and then have to chill with me while I typed and typed (and typed), attempting to get all my emotions off my chest and onto digital paper.

Then I heard about blogs so I posted my journal online to allow my friends and family to check up on us without me having to answer 25 different emails with “She’s fine”. All of a sudden my blog was being posted on MSN’s home page and strangers began to pay attention to our story and root for Lis. And seven years later here we are!

Oh … what’s a Lis? Lis is my wife, who on April 7, 2005 introduced me to the wonderful world of platelets, blood counts, blood transfusions, Tegaderm, ports, red cells and white cells, chemotherapy, cancer and leukemia. Oh yah, it was a blast!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well this one tells the whole story.

Hmm…“Think Back” blog idea! Let me take a look back on what I learned seven years ago today.

It was on this day seven years ago that I learned the meaning of “taking things one day at a time”, “not sweating the small stuff” and “live each day like it’s your last”.

It was on this day seven years ago that bruises, fevers and red pinpoint dots forever changed our lives. A friend of ours in Sunday school, whose daughter is battling leukemia, mentioned that they had a praise. The praise was that their daughter only had cold. Another person thought it was funny (not in a “ha ha” sense) that it was a praise. I turned to another dude that was also diagnosed with leukemia and said, “Thus the life of a leukemia patient.” We’ll forever question bruises, fevers and pinpoint dots and be thankful when they are only just that.

It was on this day seven years ago that I learned who my friends are.

It was one this day seven years ago that I realized not to take your friends and family for granted. Stop groaning when your buddy calls you and wants to read to you about “Robby Thompson” in his Sports Illustrated. Because that buddy will be there 25 out of the 30 days your wife is in the hospital. Not just for you but for her too! “Fanta! Fanta!”

It was seven years ago today that I realized, there are good people out there that care about others! Sign me up!

Tony (far right), organized a car wash to raise money for Lis.

It was on this day seven years ago that I was introduced to the Power of Prayer.

It was on this day seven years ago that I was reacquainted with my faith. I’ll share the story over and over again, Lis and I walked into church for the first time in three years, four days before she was diagnosed. Do you think that’s a coincidence? If you do … I’ll pray for you. 😉

It was on this day seven years ago that my favorite Bible verse, James 1: 2-4, had a much deeper meaning than it did in 1999 when it meant frustration over a flat tire and no job.

It was on this day seven years ago that my family walked through this with me. Times like these can bring you closer or farther apart. We chose the closer option and we’ll forever look back and remember this day as the day that changed us all for the better.

It was on this day seven years ago that I was forced to grow up.

It was on this day seven years ago that I became a better father. For a month it was just me and my 5-month old son in the house. I had to take care of him. I was scared but he accepted the challenge and made me a better person.

It was one this day seven years ago that I pulled on my yellow LiveStrong bracelet and it hasn’t been off since.

It was on this day seven years ago that I realized my Mom kicks butt. Not only is she fun to go dancing with but she’ll put her life on hold to take care of YOUR wife. I’m not talking about knitting caps and reading books, I’m talking about stuff I’m not even allowed to talk about because they made some kind of pinky-swear promise that “What Happens in Room 707, Stays in Room 707.”

It was on this day seven years ago that I learned life isn’t about me. It’s about giving back to others. Friends, family and strangers came together to help my little family out. I vowed to make a difference and seven years later I’m doing my best to change the world, and doing it by having fun. I’ll plug my ACS Relay for Life donation here … you can donate to the ACS Relay for Life here or

It was on this day seven years ago that I thought … wow, our five-year marriage plan just exploded like an NCAA tournament bracket when you’re predicted champ is defeated by a No. 15 seed on the first day of the tournament. Seriously?! Marriage, kid, cancer all within two years? Who thinks this stuff up?

Little did we know in 2003 that our life was about to come to a halt!

It was on this day seven years ago that I was so happy that our marriage plan blew up. Five months after our son is born she’s diagnosed with cancer and chances are it was growing while she was pregnant! And now we might not be able to have kids!

It was on this day seven years ago that my wife proved to me once again that she’s just one tough cookie and that nothing is going to stop her.

It was on this day seven years ago that I fell further in love with my wife and realized that if we came through this our marriage will be stronger and that we’ll have no stupid excuse to never be together.

It was on this day seven years later that I am reminded that my wife is still one tough cookie and that seven years later she’s defeated cancer!

It was on this day seven years later that I’m reminded to not get stressed by busyness or annoyed with your single friend’s odd requests. That I’m blessed to have two more kids.

And we thought this wasn’t going to happen! Silly us!

That my Mom still rocks. That my faith is stronger than it’s ever been. That I’m still doing my part to change the world. That our marriage is still strong. And that it’s time to head to bed.  

Thank to you to everyone that has supported the Johnson 5 the last seven years! We truly couldn’t have done it without you and your support. Thank you!

One thought on “Thinking Back on Seven Years Ago

  1. Hi Kevin! Just wanted to tell you that I love reading your fun, faith filled and inspiring posts. What blessed lives we lead even throughout the hardest parts and constant busyness. Enjoy your Easter weekend and all the promises it brings!


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