Born to amuse, to inspire, to delight
Here one day
Gone one night.
Gone too soon.
Michael Jackson’s song foreshadowed his own life which ended much too soon.
And now in our own community, another life has ended much too abruptly and prematurely. As I write this column, I am thinking about yet another memorial service I shall attend tomorrow, an occurrence which unfortunately is becoming all too common.
Cliff Annable, a gentle giant, a man larger than life has left us. He had a presence which filled a room, a laugh which was contagious and a hug which made you feel truly hugged.
Here one day and gone one night.
As saddened as we are by this shocking end, we are painfully reminded of our own imminent demise. We are glaringly aware of our own mortality.
We could be next.
Upon hearing the news of Cliff’s death while my boyfriend and I were on vacation, it made us step back and take stock of our own lives and realize what is truly important.
If Cliff’s passing has taught us anything, it is to stay connected with friends, old and new.
We made a detour on the drive home and stopped to visit some old friends my boyfriend hadn’t seen for over twenty years. We made the effort to connect before they are gone. Before we are gone.
It was wonderful listening to the two fellas catch up. It was as if they never parted…they simply picked up where they left off.
They reminisced about the airplanes they once flew as private pilots.
They compared their stories about their time in Alaska.
They shared their experiences as airplane crash investigators.
The bourbon was flowing and the laughter resonated between these two Scandinavians as they swapped silly jokes. It was wonderful for me to meet the guy who passed on the one about the two Swedes who worked in the pickle factory and lost their “yobs”.
You had to be there.
As we said our good-byes, we all realized this was likely the last time we would see each other. A bittersweet moment but our hearts were full.
As spring approaches, it is a fitting time to talk about friendship.
Just as our seedlings need nurturing to grow and flourish, so do our relationships. We need to nurture our friendships in the same way we tend to our gardens.
With patience and attention.
With love and care.
With kindness and gratitude.
In my published book, Lovingly Arrogant: From Chaos to Contentment, I have a chapter about friends entitled Friends Don’t Mind If I Leave Lipstick On Their Glass.
“Ah, how would we survive the chaos and enjoy the contentment in our lives without friends? I am not talking about the invisible friends who populate our social media networks that are meant as a means of connecting us, but ironically, result in a disconnect. Turning us into lazy friends.
No, I am referring to the ones who drop everything and rush to your side in times of trouble. The ones who listen to you repeat the same tired tales of woe. The ones who came and never left your side.”
As we approach our own demise, let’s make the time remaining count.
Spend time with those people who accept you with all your faults.
Discard those who don’t fill you with joy or don’t enhance your lives.
Surround yourself with those who care about you; who lift you up and show you the love and respect you deserve.
Before we too, are gone too soon.