By Gina Valley
Through crisp air
Freedom gasps deeply
Thoughts of magic
Ground and sky married
Ever faster swimming upward
Unrestrained in beauty
A friend of mine died last week.
We went to high school together. He was one of the nicest people I’ve ever known. He was a giant of a man, even back in high school. A lot of the people who met him for the first time back then, especially other teenage boys, were scared to death of him. He combined his size with an apparently gruff manner to, I think purposely, give an intimidating first impression.
He never fooled me, though. Even back in high school his size and manner reminded me a bit of my dad, and I had no trouble seeing the gentle man inside the tough giant.
After spending time with him, his true personality came through to everyone. This week I’ve heard tale after tale about how he impacted lives and created friendships during that time and since.
I hadn’t seen him for more than a decade when he caught up with me on Facebook a couple years ago. I’m so glad he did.
He meant a lot to me. He was one of those people who could always tell when I was having a rough day, and always asked how he could help. He never gave me the “call if you need me,” instead, when he saw I was troubled he made a point of being there. He was kind and caring and a great listener.
He made an impact on my life.
I have a big regret, though.
I never told him how much he meant to me. I never mentioned that his kindness all those years ago in the little troubles of life made me better able to handle the big troubles today, and more willing to reach out to others. I never made the time to stop in his town while I traveled to meet up for coffee or dinner or a beer.
My big regret is that I always assumed there’d be time for all of that.
Last week, I found out that, at least with him, there would be no more time, no more opportunities.
This week, I’m making it a point to remind myself, yet again, that today is the only day I’m guaranteed, and that expressing our feelings to those dear to us must not wait.
Time is short, and always getting shorter. Spend it on the people you care about. Don’t wait. Tomorrow may never come.
How do you keep from putting things off? How do you make sure you share your feelings with your dear ones? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.