Yesterday I got the stunningly sad news a friend of mine died. My friend Dale. As I went about the mundane routine of daily living, this big bear of a man, a most loved friend – had simply slipped away. He is gone forever. His life’s force and energy taken – many years too soon. He was an inspiration and a joyous human being. He had a quiet smile. I will always carry that warm welcoming grin in my heart.
He was a mountain of a man, he was a brave and strong traveler along our mutual journey of cancer, and I loved him. His loss is great.
My friend, Dale, and his beloved wife, Kathy, and I became “comrades in treatment.” Dale and I underwent rigorous debilitating daily radiation together for five days a week for six weeks. We had the same time slot every day. Every day our mornings started off together, the three of us, as we would greet each other with a smile…..and, I would exclaim, “Well, it’s another radiate day!”
We would giggle the known comfort of friends. Dale was a Valiant Warrior in his battle of over seven years. I am proud to have known him, we were cheerleaders-hand-in-hand, I was honored to join in his fight, and, grateful as he joined me in mine. I am blessed and honored to call Dale my friend.
What this reminds us, so painfully, and yet poignantly at the same time, is how every single moment is precious. Life takes on new meaning every day for all of us. Live it to its fullest. Take the time to see the beauty around you, hug a special friend just a little longer, never miss the opportunity to say I love you, and fill your heart with the joy of life.