Yesterday I said goodbye to a friend. I knew him for only a few years, but his presence made an impact on me. He was an amazing man and had been through so much in his life yet had the most upbeat, positive attitude. He was always more concerned about the person he was talking to than what was happening in his own life. Little did I know he had issues with circulation in his legs. He was a powerful cyclist so every ride I ever had the experience of being with him, he was explosive on hill climbs and had the speed of a 12 year old. Earlier this year, he had some complications with a surgery and had to have his right leg amputated above the knee. We were all in shock! What a blow for such an avid cyclist; one that we could all identify with. Yet in my attempted to encourage and comfort him, I found just the opposite; he comforted me! He had the most positive attitude about the experience, even joked about it at times, but most of all was determined to get back on the bike. He worked hard in his physical therapy and was healing much faster than the average person much to the amazement of his doctors and friends. He had a goal….to be back on the bike by spring and it looked like he was going to make it.
One evening, we received an email telling us that our dear friend had passed away. This was the biggest shock of all! He has well on his way to recovery and about to be fitted with his prosthetic. How could this have happened? This is an answer we will never receive. He was living his life, being happy, setting goals for the future and suddenly he was gone.
His memorial ride yesterday was packed with so many people who loved and cared about him. All telling the same stories about a great man who was kind, loving and generous to had touched so many lives in such a wonderful way. As I listened to the stories and shared one of my own, the things that stood out for me were these:
- At the end of the day, no amount of money, job status or material possession means anything compared to the love and memories you share with others.
- We always think we have more time; I’ll do that next week, next month, next year. Don’t wait until tomorrow to do all that you want to do.
Life is precious, relationships are priceless and every day is a gift. Live each moment as if it were your last because one day it will be.
~ Kimberlee Anderson