I just received an email from one of my friends in California reminding me of a fundamental truth; don't wait to enjoy your life.
I met Brian at work. Brian, his wife Kathy and I became friends because of our shared good humor and love of baseball. Over the course of many work trips to California, I was grateful for their excellent company.
Brian and Kathy were scheduled to go to France last August. They canceled the two week trip due to the sudden illness of one of their closest friends. Their friend, Kelly, was rushed to the hospital for a mysterious illness that later claimed his life in September. (some friends may be struck, as I was, that we know someone with the same name.)
Brian was a co-executor of the will and was helping with the processing of Kelly's home when I saw Brian and Kathy in October on a two week business trip. The impact of Kelly's death has effected both Brian and Kathy tremendously.
As they talked about Kelly during my visit, I was reminded of my friend Aditya's sudden death three years before. I was also reminded to enjoy every minute you have with the people in life.
On my way home, I had a layover scheduled to see another friend of mine. When I saw him I gripped him in a bear hug, needing to affirm life. I never told him part of the reason for this ardent hello but somehow I don't think it matters. What matters is the acknowledgement. I made the most of the visit with my friend even though I was sick with hey fever.
When I got home, I made sure to acknowledge all my friends with similar affection. My friends know I love them but I needed to celebrate their lives. Sometimes I forget to do that taking my friends' existence for granted.
Thank you Kathy for the reminder that life is meant to be enjoyed and teaching me through your example.