I’m sitting here on the tenth anniversary of a dear friend’s passing, thinking about the last conversation I had with her. With a soft, weak voice she told me her only regret was that she didn’t live every year with the same level of love, passion and purpose she had in the final two years of her life, after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. “I’ve accomplished so much recently. And I’ve touched so many people,” she told me. “If only I had listened to the good advice of my elders—if only I had known—I would have started sooner. I wouldn’t have wasted so much time on drama and distractions that don’t matter.”
My friend’s words were hard to hear in that moment, for many reasons. And although her sentiments—her lessons—were concepts I had listened to others say a hundred times before, I had never truly heard them until that moment. My heart broke wide open for her, and for me. It was downright painful to see the glimmers of regret in her eyes, and then to realize that I too had wasted time … that I too had let so much good, common sense advice go in one ear and out the next.
For a decade now, I’ve lived with my late friend’s words echoing in the back of my mind. I’ve let them [Read more…]