Thursday, May 4, 2006
We can all take lessons from Rob Warren.
He died Friday at the age of 24, but his short life on this earth was full of wonderful examples.
First, never give up.
Rob was a fighter. He battled cancer and battled it hard for several years.
And through that fight, he maintained his smile, his friendliness and his positive attitude.
Yet here we are, most of the time letting the smallest of obstacles and challenges get us down and discourage us.
Looking at Rob’s life and his examples make our selfish attitudes look ridiculous.
Take a lesson from Rob - keep your chin up and always give it 110 percent, no matter what.
Second, work hard.
The first thing I noticed about Rob was his passion for work.
Most of you know Rob and his family much better than I. But as a newcomer to Holly Springs almost five years ago, one of my earliest memories of Rob was going to the front counter at The South Reporter and taking a classified ad from him for his yard-mowing service.
Later we moved next door to the Warrens, and I witnessed his hard work firsthand and often.
He would leave early, many times before I awoke, and get home late.
I would see him in town, mowing yards until the sun set and even later, trying to finish and be ready to move on to another the next day. He would always wave when I passed.
He would mow other people’s yards all day long and then get home and mow his own.
He truly exemplified hard work.
Third, live each day to its fullest.
Rob kept on keeping on. He enjoyed life.
He continued his schooling in times of adversity. He went into legal studies and law enforcement, a love in his life. He was the 2005 Officer of the Year for the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department. He was honored at Ole Miss by receiving the first C.B. Hopper Award for Outstanding Legal Studies Student of the Year in 2005.
Each time I met him, when he was in the patrol car, he would wave. It was obvious, he was proud to work with Sheriff Kenny Dickerson and his staff and he was happy being a public servant.
He served others to the best of his ability. He loved his family.
Rob’s life should make us all stop and think.
None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.
We best focus on the minute. And we best put others ahead of ourselves.
I saw Rob doing just that.
When living next door, he would often say, “Let me know if I can help.”
A testament to Rob’s influence was the visitation Sunday night and the funeral service Monday.
The parking lot was full, cars were all along the road, on both sides, and the line of people was long as they waited to get in the door of Holly Springs Funeral Home to offer condolences to the family.
The funeral service was likely one of the largest, attendance-wise, ever in the City of Holly Springs.
It was impressive.
They came from far and near, from all walks of life, because of their love and respect for Rob and the Warren family.
Monday evening, just before dark, I was mowing my back yard and the entire time I thought about Rob and about what I could write about a young man I did not know very well but a young man who influenced so many.
I thought about his examples, just a few mentioned in this brief tribute.
He lived just 24 years but his contributions to the beauty and betterment of Holly Springs and Marshall County are lessons for us all.
(662) 252-4261 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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