These two guys were pretty special in my life. And as we all know, life is fragile; and any of us can make the transition—at any moment—to the next place in life.
Uncle Tom died at age 42 of cancer. Cousin Tommy died at 7 of a rare disease of the immune system. Tom was my godfather; Tommy was my godson.
When I lead classes on effective time management or uncovering life purpose, I pass around a framed version of the photo above. Many of the class participants seem to struggle with just how, precisely, to identify what’s most important in their life with all that they have going on, tugging at them. I always say that when you get down to it, though, it’s not as tough to figure out as one might think.
The sweet picture of my two special guys always drives the message home.
At the core, we all do know what’s important to us. But life gets busy, things get in the way, and we (I’m including myself here) slowly move away from—or tend to lose sight of—the things in life that are dear to us and bring us joy. We might have occasional glimpses of that preciousness of life, but we become too involved and immersed in the details of life to slow down and take notice.
After Tommy died in 1990, I received a card from a friend with this verse written on it:
Each life is indeed a gift.
No matter how short,
No matter how fragile.
Each life is indeed a gift
To be held in our hearts forever.
Let this be a reminder to fully live your life now and follow your joy.
Note: For a truly beautiful book of love letters, written to Tommy by his mom (my Aunt Jane), read A Fistful of Agates.