While we live day by day, many times surviving the daily ups and downs, our conversation today is about the invisible legacy we leave, the impression we make in people, and how we are able to change their lives by our acts.
The rat race gets us to focus on getting a bigger house, a nicer car, and the next big promotion. Yet, do you want to be remembered by the size of our bank account, the title you had … or rather by the difference you made in people’s lives?
This week, a close friend of mine passed. He was loud and full of life, and had a laugh that could fill a room.
I will call him, M., and he was my first boss, more than thirty years ago. With tough love, he pointed out my potential, and highlighted the importance of perseverance. He also taught me that life is not fair, and that we need to deal with it.
Lately, I would see him briefly – only once a year during the holidays. That said, he never forgot one single birthday of mine, and cared deeply with all his heart.
Our friendship matured throughout the years in despite of the distance and time. He praised my achievements, and held my hand when things sucked. With no social masks, no disguises, with him, I could just be myself.
As an intern, I was a clueless engineer-to-be, lost in translation and with no knowledge of corporate life. M. was savvy and gave me jobs, sometimes boring ones, to train my patience and so that I could learn the lay of the land. He included me in lunch breaks with peers, and made me feel as part of a bigger team. He respected me – where I was, and who I was.
Time is so precious, and as long-time lupus warriors, some of you probably know that better than I.
Little acts of kindness heal scars, warm hearts, and bring peace to minds. The laughs we start, the hands we hold, the time we give, are precious treasures that we grant to others, but we also harvest the benefits.
Thinking about my beloved friend, and the lessons he taught me, I will remember him by what really matters – the way he always carved out time from his busy schedule to bring life into a richer fullness. He lived each day as if it were a brand-new opportunity, and made it a good one.
Real friendships and love are timeless and can survive long distances. Simple birthday and Christmas cards bring people closer, and random notes remind others we care.
A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.
– Washington Irving
Enjoy each day, as if it will never come back, because it won’t.
For today, turn off the social media blah blah blah, call your best friend, tell him how much you care, catch up on all the latest and greatest news, and remind yourselves why this friendship matters.
RIP M. My prayers are with you today, and our friendship will stay forever in my heart.
“Sweet is the memory of distant friends! Like the mellow rays of the departing sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart.” – Washington Irving
Hope was diagnosed with lupus in 2013. Since then, she decided to learn more about her condition, and explore ways to feel better. Before recently changing her life aspirations to focus on the lupus cause, she worked for several years in the technology industry, holding different engineering, marketing and leadership positions. She is Brazilian, and lived in the Silicon Valley and in the UK. Now, the lovely state of Oregon is her home.