Sometimes people need a good kick to the pants to keep them going.
And whenever I need a good, swift kick to the pants—which happens more often than I care to admit—I read the obituaries.
Local, national, foreign; it’s doesn’t matter, I read them all. Obituaries keep me focused on my goals because they remind me I don’t have time to mess around. And sometimes, they serve as life lessons.
One particular day, in January of 2018, I was looking through obituaries from one of my many hometowns (my folks calling with The Salvation Army had us moving across the country) and I saw a face I didn’t expect to see: my good friend Adrian.
Adrian and I hadn’t spoken in quite some time; three or four times since high school, to be honest. Time and distance didn’t help but, to be frank, I’m terrible at staying in touch with people.
I’ve met more than my share of people having lived in so many places, but I’m in touch with a handful sporadically, and even fewer, regularly.
But I’m getting off track so let’s get back to Adrian.
Adrian was part of a group of guys. along with Will and Steven, I hung out with regularly. In truth, they were my best friends in high school. Sure, I would get together with other friends, but those guys were my core group.
We went to movies and out to eat; sometimes we’d get together to watch wrestling pay-per-views. You know, regular friend stuff.
Those guys got me through high school; not that high school was a struggle—for me, anyways—I just can’t imagine having to go through that part of my life without a good group of friends.
But, as good a friend as Adrian was, I rarely wrote or picked up the phone. And this was just as email was picking up steam; I have no accuse.
We lost touch for a few years. That is until I joined Facebook book over 10 years ago. I found a bunch of old friends; my friends’ list was over 1000 and Adrian was among them of course. Still, we barely spoke; for the record, Adrian was more likely to send a message.
It wasn’t like I was inundated with messages from my nearly 1000 friends. For the life of me, I don’t know why. Again, I have no accuse.
I always thought that we’d see each other again, and we’d pick up where we left off. And then when I saw his face; I knew I screwed up.
Adrian was the latest in a line of people who I thought I would see again before they passed, but for whatever reason, didn’t.
Even though his death had occurred three years prior to my discovery, it hit me like a ton of bricks.
It was a gut punch. We only get so much time here and Adrian’s death made me realize I was wasting it. When I think about some of the things I thought were important while my friend wasn’t around anymore, I feel shame.
Adrian helped me come to the realization that impact on others lives—no matter how small we may perceive it—is significant.
My old friend made a lot of people smile and he enjoyed his friends and he was a joy to have around. He was, and continues to be, a good friend of the very best caliber.
Love you buddy.