Retracing Footsteps

August 11th, 2012 by Rich Christiansen

How incredible would it be if the important people in our lives were able to pause and retrace the important events and experiences in our lives in a kind of celebration tour?

Indeed I was able to do that exact thing a month ago with a sweet Japanese woman named Mrs. Yamagami. I met her husband, Mr. Yamagami early in my engineering career when I worked at Mitsubishi Electric. I remember Mr. Yamagami as a silent, quiet individual, but very deep and thoughtful in his approach. I gained a lot of respect for Mr. Yamagami as we both advanced in our respective careers. He came over from Japan several times to visit me and we always made sure he had a nice room with a view, that we went out to a nice dinner, and that he came to my house to meet my family.
Little did I realize how meaningful his visits to my hometown were to him.

Sadly, Mr. Yamagami died of sudden heart failure in 1998 leaving behind a wonderful wife and two young children. Mrs. Yamagami worked very diligently to raise these children and was very successful. Her youngest son graduated this last year and is now a doctor.

Mrs. Yamagami loved her husband very much and recently decided that she wanted to celebrate her husband’s life by going to four or five of the most meaningful places in his life. One of those places happened to be Provo, Utah in connection with his experiences regarding myself and Novell. ?Mrs. Yamagami flew in from Japan and we spent several days retracing her husband’s footsteps by taking the time to appreciate the beautiful mountains, eat delicious seafood dinners, and I also made sure we spent some time in the conference rooms where Mr. Yamagami and I held discussions those many years back.

I have often said that a stupid man never learns from his mistakes, a smart man learns from his mistakes, and a wise man learns from the mistakes of others. How healthy it is for us to look back and reflect. If we could learn from the prior generations especially from those who have gone before and those who have done great things then just imagine the powerful lessons we could learn. 
 
 

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