Friday, December 14, 2012

Life lesson....


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
his grandkids.

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.



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11 comments :

  1. I am very sorry for the loss of your friend, Jill. Thank you for the reminder to take time away from the "busy life" cycle we all can get absorbed in and just enjoy all the little things too.
    My thoughts are with you.

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  2. I'm so sorry Jill but thank you so much for sharing this important lesson. It is an important reminder.

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  3. Prayers for you all as you walk through this journey.

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  4. You had mentioned this service to me. I am so sorry. Such a good message - especially with all that is going on in world today. You never know when someone won't be there anymore. xoxo

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  5. Jill, this is especially
    profound today, in
    light of the Sandy Hook
    school shooting. My
    stomach is actually
    in knots and my heart
    is breaking. Imagine
    those moms who scooted
    their little ones into
    the kindergarten classroom,
    never realizing it was
    the last time that they
    would kiss or hug them?

    Unbearable.

    You just never know. I
    will SO take your message
    to heart. I'm sorry to hear
    about the loss of this very
    special friend. What a
    blessing that you had him
    and his family in your life.

    xo Suzanne

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  6. Safe travels friend. Sorry to hear of your loss. Take care

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  7. Today of all days, this is so important for all to remember. Therese in England,xx

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  8. Sorry for your loss but thank you for sharing your story and the reminder for us all of how short life is.

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  9. Its disheartening to hear the great loss of lives in the shooting. My prayers for the families and the departed. Thanks for your blog.

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  10. Thanks for this reminder! And I'm sorry for the loss of your friend.

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