February 15, 2013
Celebration of life: Perry Molema
LO Executive Director
I attended Perry Molema’s Celebration of Life tribute in December. For those of you who did not know Perry, he was a lifetime member and supporter of the Landscape Ontario community, who tragically passed away in a car accident just before Christmas.
It did not surprise me that there were hundreds of friends in attendance. Perry’s positive outlook on life and his caring nature touched and influenced a lot of people.
Perry was involved in the Windsor Chapter for many years as president of Colonial Nurseries. About ten years ago he joined Aquascape as the Ontario president.
Here is an excerpt from his obituary:
“His job incorporated his passion for travel, which took him to every corner of the world. He left his mark creating beautiful water features and landscapes that can be enjoyed throughout Chatham and Canada, as well as the U.S., Europe, Egypt, Turkey and Australia.
“He had many hobbies and enjoyed sharing his life with his family and many friends. He was engaging and compassionate; once you knew Perry you knew you had a friend for life. One cannot choose when we leave this world, but we can choose how to live it. Perry lived his life to the fullest and touched many hearts. He will be infinitely missed and forever loved and cherished by all who knew him.”
Years ago when he was speaking at a Windsor Chapter meeting, Perry said, “We are really in the business of enhancing lives.” These nine simple words influenced the way I look at my work and personal life. I have often repeated Perry’s words in articles and speeches because of the power, meaning and positive outlook they convey. That simple perspective, “enhancing lives,” is such a wonderful way to live. Perry certainly enhanced my life and the many people he touched. His legacy lives on because he enhanced many of our lives.
This year’s word? WhyOn a related topic…Once a year at our Christmas luncheon, the staff collectively chooses one word that focuses our activities for the coming year. Last year, the word was “service.” The previous year the word was “communication.” It’s quite remarkable how choosing a word or theme actually helps to improve our activity defined by the word chosen.
This year’s word was influenced by a quote I had just read in a book, “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” I suggested we choose the word why. With puzzled looks on some faces of the staff members, they politely agreed. Lee Ann and Sally replied, “Why not?”
The word why is a powerful filter. It begs an answer. It stimulates thought. Why do we exist? Why does Landscape Ontario exist? Why do we do what we do? For me Perry’s words, “We are in the business of enhancing lives,” provide a meaningful, universal, positive and uplifting way to answer the question, “Why?”
Tony DiGiovanni may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.