Life should be about taking chances
“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have and the decisions we waited too long to make. There comes a time in your life when you realize who matters, who doesn’t, who never did and who always will. So don’t worry about the people in your past, there’s a reason they didn’t make it to your future.” — Anonymous
Yesterday, I found out that a dear friend of mine died. She had been diagnosed with lymphoma just a couple months ago, after feeling run down and not able to get over an illness. I went to visit her in the hospital, taking a pot with babies from my succulent plants. Upon arriving at her room in the hospital, I was told I needed to leave the pot outside at the nurses’ station and put on a mask. In the dim light, I made out the outline of my friend. She looked different. She had been in the hospital for almost a month trying to get her body to restore blood cells in order to receive treatment. Even though she didn’t look well at all and even making conversation tired her quickly, she assured me that she would be out of there in no time, and living life to the fullest. And indeed, she went home not long afterward and emailed me that even though her wedding plans had changed drastically, she and her fiance had devised another plan to have a very small wedding with a few friends. She wanted me to come to the ceremony then perform with my band at the reception. She was so excited and said, “This will be one “H” of a celebration of love and living.”
Shortly after we wrote to each other, I made a trip abroad to be with family. We stayed in touch and agreed that we would sort out the details upon my return. I was gone for three weeks and shortly after I returned, I received an email that the luncheon that was scheduled for a few days before the wedding was cancelled. I waited and hoped for the best, figuring she was back in the hospital and I would hear from her fiancé at some point. Then yesterday, a friend let me know that she had passed away two days previously, that she had been unconscious for the previous week while in the hospital.
I still can’t believe it. It seems like it was only 2-3 short months between the prognosis and her death. One of my favorite memories of her is after an evening of helping me walk up and down State Street in Santa Barbara, promoting my music and my band, we got back to the car where my sweet Australian Shepherd, Dixie Blue, was waiting for us. As Jo looked in the car, Dixie gave her the biggest smile (she was so excited to see us!) and Jo just laughed and laughed. She always talked about that afterward with a huge smile on her face.
Jo’s courageous spirit, joyful outlook on life, and big, laughing smile remain with me. I hold them in my heart and it makes me realize that if you have a dream… if you need to make a change… if you’re too afraid to step out of your comfort zone, BE BRAVE. I have committed my recent life to making huge changes and following my dreams. It’s not an easy road, but it is so gratifying. I think we all need to take the above quote to heart and DON’T WAIT to live life to the fullest.