It wasn’t a normal Sunday afternoon. The Packers had lost and the Cowboys were in the process of blowing the game. But it wasn’t the results of the football games that had our group in a somber mood. It was the passing of a friend. It was the memories of other people no longer with us. It was the various changes we have seen over the last couple of years. It was the pureness of the words the people spoke, letting down their guards, allowing their emotion to come forth and mourn in the company of friends. To tell everyone around that we do care about each other. Sure you can think and feel it but it always feels good to say and hear it. Why don’t people do that more often?
Ever since my grandfather passed away years ago, I adopted a simple motto of life after watching my grandmother mourn for a couple of months and then declaring she was still alive and would live her life as she saw fit. That she wouldn’t mope around like an old lady. She was going to live life to the fullest. She still does and has been an inspiration to me.
I have tried to follow in her footsteps. Take advantage of opportunities that may not present themselves again. To get on a plane and accept invitations from people I hadn’t met in person and go explore the world. To take chances and experience everything around me. Too many times in the past I would take the conservative route and pass on opportunities making up trivial excuses. Not anymore. I want to live a life without regrets. To at least say I tried.
It still seems surreal. Knowing a friend won’t be at the bar for the next big game or at the campsite. Thinking about how one minute someone is here and the next minute they are gone.
Now all we have our memories, both good and bad. We can forgive people for their shortcomings and we should do so. Life is too short to hold a grudge. Holding grudges leads to many regrets. We may not like the actions people take, the decision they have made but when you know they are a good person, you must forgive. As I told the people around the table, remember the person, not the actions.
We will remember you Randy. Somethings just won't be the same without you. It hasn’t been that long and you are already terribly missed.