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A little over a week ago a friend of ours, Mike, passed away some what un-expectantly. We live in a small town so over the Holiday’s you tend to run into people more often than not and we continually ran into Mike and his girlfriend and mentioned drinks after the Holiday’s when things calmed down.  Unfortunately those drinks will never happen. He had been having back pain and went to the doctor to find out his abdomen was full of cancer and died a week later at the age of 55.

Saturday was his celebration of life service and I have never laughed or cried so much at the same time at a funeral.  I watched his daughter, my age, stand in front of a packed room and talk about her father with such positivity in her voice.  She wore Mike’s signature hat, smiled, and kept her head held high while she shared stories with the same ease that her father always did.  She had lost her sister 8 years ago and Mike and her stood at that funeral together and spoke.  They made a pact that from there on out they would always stand together at family funerals and speak of the good times, no matter how tough it was.  They had to keep this pact 4 more times  Saturday she had to stand there without her rock next to her side and I looked at her with such awe.  In the midst of such a sad time she urged people to be cheerful and look for the good.  By the end, upbeat music was going and people were singing, clapping and dancing together.

I walked out of the funeral that day feeling something much different from the normal “Life is too short.”  No, it was much more than that. Mike was laughter, a drink in his hand, a great friend, honest, a good family man, full of stories and always there to remind you how to let go and have a good time in life. I just need to put more of that in my life.  Yes, life is too short but it is also meant to be lived in the moment, not for some day when things change, when the house is cleaned, when you get a new job, when you have X amount of money.  Just now.  I need to be more present now.

Mike’s picture is now in my truck to remind me everyday to stop, breathe, slow down and let go.  I’m not waiting for one day to stop by his house to see his girlfriend and share that glass of wine, I’m going tonight.  Because tonight, whatever I had planned or need to do is not near as “busy” or important as talking to her about the love of her life that she just lost.

I can genuinely say that I am blessed to have known this man.  I urge you today to find the positive in something and take a few extra minutes to really breathe in life.  Go out and live.