Saturday, June 23, 2012

Once again, with feelings

Welcome back, gentle readers.  I hope you enjoyed the period in which I slacked off and failed to write anything break.  I want to tell you about a friend of mine, and reflect on my thoughts following her death.

In one's life you have many opportunities, 25,550 days worth if you live to 70, to make a difference in people's lives.  To enrich your friends, to help and inspire, to give and receive love.  To help others with their money, help them to learn, to bring beauty into their life.

I have the pleasure, or perhaps treasure, of knowing quite a few people who really matter to me, and who matter to a lot of others too.  I hope that I matter to a lot of others as well.  You get a finite chance to matter.  I hope that by the time my time is up, that I have brought as much joy, shared as much love, and inspired people as much as my friend Surrey.
Many thanks to my friend Dave who took this sweet picture of Surrey and Gregor.

Surrey had an amazing life (to me it was) which started out in World War II in England and ended just a few weeks ago in sunny California.  She was an artist, a writer, a mother, a bank manager, a teacher, and many other things.  Above all else, she was a doer - she shrank from nothing and stopped at nothing to make her dreams come true and to give to others.  In the process, she made a palpable difference to so many of us that it was standing room only at her memorial today in a very large school auditorium.

My dear friend Gregor spoke lovingly of his wife, not of how he missed her, but of what allowed her to cut through the noise and get things done and make a difference.  She had seen violent death up close at an early age and she knew what mattered, and she felt the naked urgency of mortal life.  She knew deep down that she, like all of us, didn't have all the time in the world and that if she was going to make a difference she had better set aside her fears (if she had any) and get started and never stop.  Her daughter told us how even as she was near death in hospice, she was remarking on and caring about the hospice workers and their acting troupe - and that she was writing all of this down to express it because she couldn't speak for the oxygen mask she was wearing.

Take the time to make a difference; to love, to appreciate, to create joy and beauty.  Appreciate what you have and the richness of your life and your friends.  Set aside your fears and take the risks that are the bridges to your dreams.  Do this for your friends and loved ones.  Do this for yourself.  Don't wait.