What is K.O.K.O.?
KEEP ON, KEEPIN’ ON
My wonderful father-in-law, Harry, passed away a couple months ago. He coined this expression for our family a few years ago.
As he hit his 70’s I think he felt a certain perseverance was needed to live the remainder of his days, months, and years.
We all know our days are numbered.
We’re just not sure how many we have.
Harry had his share of aging maladies.
His share of ever increasing twinges.
But Harry would say, “you gotta just KEEP ON, KEEPIN’ ON. No matter what. Cause if you don’t (fill in the blank) then you might as well just be dead.”
We could all learn from him.
Mark Your Court and Play
Harry’s “KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON” statement became so iconic that our annual family Easter volleyball game became the billboard for his K.O.K.O. expression.
The court maker would spray paint the lawn with some family or holiday message, and in recent years K.O.K.O. became popular.
Occasionally we’d amend it and say, “Y.O.L.O., so K.O.K.O.”
“You Only Live Once, so KEEP ON, KEEPIN’ ON!”
It’s sort of the modern day version of the Latin, “Carpe Diem.”
Harry had many expressions he will be remembered for, and while some remain more of a family inside joke, K.O.K.O. would do well to be adopted by many a person.
You Have to Say “Yes” to Living Life
If you’re over 40 then you know how aging creeps in with the random aches and pains, the forgetfulness, the shift in inspiration, motivation and attitude.
Sure, you gain wisdom.
You know life is precious.
Gratefulness for health and well-being for you and your family is standard.
But with gradual aging, you could easily close the door to certain things.
Maybe for good reason you have to stop running, or give up basketball…maybe because of bad knees or ankles.
Some things do require we slow down in some departments.
But if you’re not careful then it starts to become easy to say “no” to a larger variety of activities, easy to opt for the easier more comfortable path.
Let’s admit: aging is a little depressing.
It’s not fun.
There are a lot of physical changes, as well as mental and emotional changes, so the reality of aging can get the better of you sometimes.
And while your hard work and toil earns you the right to relax and sit and do as you please, there is a balance you have to maintain.
You have to say “yes” to life.
“Yes” to activities with your friends and family.
Your “going and doing” mode has to stay “on.”
Our K.O.K.O. Independence Day
July 4th has always been a big family day for all of us in Harry’s family tree.
We always go to the Atlanta Peachtree Road Race that morning…we have runners and we have watchers.
The day starts before the sun rises with all the logistics of caravanning, dropping off runners to run, and watchers getting to the viewing spot.
We wanted to keep Harry’s K.O.K.O. spirit alive with us this year, so we turned our plain, light gray K.O.K.O. t-shirts we had made for Father’s Day into tie-dye versions for July 4th.
It’s only fitting that a day where we try to ignore our aches and pains to keep running the annual 10k, is a day that we embrace the KEEP On KEEPIN’ ON spirit.
Young and old, we run.
We run for tradition.
Gathering for another year of celebrating Independence Day, and celebrating family.
It’s just what we do.
And have always done.
Some of us have run for 8 years, some for 18, and some for 26 years.
More of us are watching (insert smiley), but our hearts are in it for the love of the runners.
We are K.O.K.O. strong, and Harry would be proud.
The T-shirts will fade with time, but the people, and the memories, and the tradition, and our remembrance of Harry never will.
We honor him and his KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON attitude by daring to live like he did.
Let us be bold and brave.
Let us really live.
Just like Harry.
Get Some K.O.K.O. Attitude For Yourself
If you could wake up each day and muster up a “KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON” attitude in spite of your aches and pains, then you would be living life to the fullest.
Harry knew how to live.
He was a “do-er.”
Sitting was not a high priority.
He had plans: things to do, places to go, and people to see.
Harry made his life about family, friends, and living.
This was just one thing about him that we loved.
There are innumerable more.
He was a “living” example to us all, and I know as a family we will keep that K.O.K.O. spirit alive as a remembrance of Harry and how he lived.
It’s how we should all live.