"Every man's life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another."
We never know how long we have. We only know that we have a short time to get things done here on earth. Tonight, I write in memory of a man who used his time wisely, and who made a great impact in the time he was given.
Last friday, I lost a dear friend named Jim, whose passing is a point of grief that I can not explain. He was the kind of man who always had a smile, a high five, or even a hug for anyone who needed it. He was calm and patient, and he was capable of doing things that others struggled with. He didn't know everything, but he wasn't afraid to learn, or to ask for an answer. He was the kind of person who knew how to make his own opportunities instead of being stuck in the ones he was handed.
I will miss Jim being in my life. But I am already feeling an unexpected bravery from his example. In so many of our talks, he would talk about going for what he wanted, about taking chances. He knew how to take a risk, and he always encouraged me to take my own. It's something I can already see starting to push me.
Lately I've been contemplating the meaning of life, of what's important and what isn't, of what's necessary and what's a lie that holds me down. I want to know who and where I am supposed to be, and I'm scared of squandering time getting there. I'm afraid of being too afraid to take risks. I don't let others in, and I don't get close. I don't go after things that I want if they seem too far away. I am afraid to fall on my face. And I'm already seeing what I've lost, in this reflection of my own time through the mirror of a life lost. The world is a little grayer in this sadness, but my short coming is crystal clear.
And so tonight, in honor of the memory of someone who lived to the fullest in every moment he had, I have resolved that I will take the risks that lie before me. I will take a chance on that which can hurt me, and give myself freely to the idea of change. I will not be limited in my walls of safety- the doors are open, and I'm freeing myself from them. I will not be scared to speak my mind, to tell those important to me how I feel, or what I need.
Starting tonight, I am going into the risky game that is life with all my spirit. I want to live a life like Jim's, and I don't want to miss out on time. Life is too short to squander on safety.
Goodnight Jim, and thank you for teaching me this. You will be so missed, but you live on in my heart, and so many others. And I won't be afraid anymore- you always told me not to be. Thank you for believing in me- in this time of missing you, I am finding the courage of believing in myself.