Today I am heading to central Oregon to attend a
memorial service for a wonderful man who I had
the privilege of calling a friend and mentor.
It's a sad pause during an otherwise joyous season.
Life has a funny way of bringing people into your life.
I met this friend, who passed away on Thanksgiving day,
when he became my boss. I was about 25 years old,
recently married and relatively new in my career -
he had four children and a wonderfully kind wife and was older than my
dad. An unusual and perhaps unlikely friendship. Our
lives and careers went in different directions but
coincidently both our families ended up in Portland, Oregon.
His family included my husband and I in celebrations
and holiday dinners - when we did not have family
on the west coast. Before I had children, I always looked
to this family and thought, "I hope I can be as good
a parent as this J_____ and T____". Despite a significant
age difference we remained family friends and
when I had children this man became almost like
another grandfather to my children.
My friend struggled with COPD the last couple
years and it unfortunately ended his life on Thanksgiving
evening after he enjoyed a meal with his wife, three of his
grown children, their spouses and many of
My friend/mentor taught me one last valuable lesson
before he died. And I am sharing this, not because I want
your support or sympathy, but because it is a lesson
so valuable and obvious that it must be shared as a reminder
to ALL of us - especially during this season.
About 10 days before he died, my friend called my
cell phone. I was not available to take the call.
I thought to myself, I need to call him back......
But life got busy, with what I don't know?
I did not return the phone call.
It's something I will always regret.
So in this season of 'busy', don't forget
to make room for the important, the small
gestures, the meaningful.