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What Might Have Been

Wow, what a week I had last week!  I got my wish.  Thanks to a break between treatments, we were able to escape to Florida for a wonderful five-day holiday.  My back is still killing me (I hope to be able to report a successful “procedure” to alleviate that pain soon) but thankfully, Diana proved herself to be an amazing luggage lugger who would not let me pick up, move, or even think about moving my overstuffed bags.

We began our adventure in Tampa, Florida where we attended the annual “Cheers for Charity’ fundraiser, hosted by our dear friends Ron & Tami Broadrick.  A wonderful surprise was that we were able to attend the Friday night pre-event celebration at Bern’s Steakhouse, where we met several new friends, all paired with wonderful food and wines.

The Saturday event was truly amazing and inspirational, as Ron and Tami raised $1.4 million for a host of children’s charities throughout Florida.  It was such an intimate setting, with the event taking place at a sprawling, table-for-100 people - in their driveway.  We were both in awe at seeing paddles raised repeatedly in support of underprivileged children, with almost no limit to the amount being donated.  

Ron & Tami have now raised approximately $7 million in the past eight years for children’s charities throughout Florida.  I find what they do to be especially compelling given that Ron & Tami do not have children themselves, yet they dedicate a significant amount of their time and effort to these various children’s causes.  To learn more about the Broadrick Family Foundation, or to donate, please visit  

We were also very fortunate to meet up with our dear friends Marco and Lauren Amorico and their precious son Leonardo (“Leo”), who happened to have just arrived in Anna Maria Island, Florida the night before from Italy.  If I am completely honest, I have been worried that I might never see them again given the state of my health and the difficulty of traveling long distances but viola! – they magically ended up right along our drive from Tampa to the Florida Keys, arriving just in time for us to be able to spend time with them.  We had a wonderful lunch with them at Sandbar - right on the beach, with toes in the sand – on a beautiful afternoon.  I couldn’t believe how well things lined up.  

But wait, it gets better!

As we were returning from dinner in Tampa on Friday night, something caused me to think back to another seminal moment that took place during my early teen years.   For some reason, I suddenly remembered that I had a connection to Tampa that went back almost 50 years.  I have previously spoken of my family’s annual vacation to somewhere in Florida.  My father had fallen in love with the Sunshine State and as a meter reader for Cincinnati Gas & Electric, he had an opportunity to potentially relocate and take a similar job with Tampa Gas & Electric back when I was about 12 to 13 years old.

One day, while performing one of my weekly “chores” of emptying the waste basket in my dad’s office (basically, a desk, chair and bookshelf that adjoined my parent’s bedroom), I stumbled onto a piece of black “carbon paper.”  Only people of a certain age will remember carbon paper but at the risk of oversimplifying, it’s how regular people made copies back in the 1970s.  It was a flimsy, black sheet that was placed between the page being written and the copy that was being created by the carbon.  I remember holding it up to the light and seeing my father’s flowy, cursive writing, his perfect penmanship expressing his interest in a job at TG&E.  

I was horrified, notwithstanding the fact that I had no business reading his letter in the first place.  As much as I loved going to Florida with my family and as little “skin in the game” I had here in Northern Kentucky as a 12- to 13-year-old, I did not want to move to Florida.  I recall pulling the family fire alarm and creating a bunch of drama around it, which complicated my father’s process.  

As it turns out, it was a moot point.  My father went to Tampa for the job interview but ultimately failed the physical examination, as he had recently had a back surgery that disqualified him from the job.  But what hit me while Diana and I were in Tampa last weekend was… what if he had been offered the job, accepted it, and moved our family to Florida?  He was disqualified due to the comparatively primitive state of orthopedic surgery at the time and the fact that employers were able to delve into your personal health details as part of their evaluation as to whether to offer someone a position or not.   

Logic tells me that everything about last weekend would never have happened if my father had been offered that job, taken it, and moved us to Tampa.  For starters, I likely would never have met Diana, so I would not have been there with her, nor would I have spent the last 45 years with her.  I originally met Ron & Tami Broadrick at a gathering of the Lexington Cancer Foundation, at an event where I was representing Monteverdi Tuscany, a job I never would have had if my family had moved to Tampa when I was a teenager.  

I also met Marco Amorico through my affiliation with Monteverdi Tuscany, on one of my many trips to Italy.  Marco’s family are the owners of Access Italy, one of the most renowned destination management companies in Italy, which is what originally connected us (and I highly recommend them for any of your future trips to Italy!).  From that initial contact, Marco and I became instant friends.  Nearly every visit thereafter including a meet up where Marco and I drank great Italian wines together, accompanied by Cacio e Pepe or Pasta Amatriciana.  Diana and I went to Marco and Lauren’s wedding on the beach… in Anna Maria Island, Florida - which was right back where we were with them just last week.

My head was suddenly spinning as I thought about it all.  Nothing… literally NOTHING… about last week’s trip would have happened if my father had changed jobs nearly 50 years ago.  In discussing this with my father and brother yesterday, my brother pointed out that it goes much deeper than that… that he would have never met his wife of 32 years if we have moved.  My sisters would have surely not met their spouses here either.  And I certainly would not have been in the job I am in now, which turns out to be the most meaningful work I have ever done in my life. 


We all have these instances in our life, where one thing that happened differently could have changed our life forever, and in a profound way.  One of those “what might have been” things.  It is humbling to think that virtually everything that I love about my life today would have been different if a single event - that was more about my father and what he wanted to do with his life – had taken place.  

I asked my father yesterday at lunch whether he would have taken the job if it had been offered to him.  He thought about it for a minute and said that he didn’t know.  That as great as it sounded to move to Florida at the time, he doesn’t know if he would have actually “pulled the trigger.”  I really like Tampa, but thank goodness that things turned out the way they did.  Who knows what might have been, but I know that things would not have turned out as well for me as they did if we had made that move.         


Until next time, 


1 Comment

I am loving reading this stories!!! I wish I had known about your Florida adventures, I might have been able to join you for that wonderful gala! I've been in St. Pete for a family health adventure, that praise be to God and an amazing surgical team at John Hopkins All Children's Hospital has felt much like a miracle.

I'm so glad that you and Diana had a wonderful adventure!

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