One of my first smallsteps2health blog-posts was titled “I Hope You Dance”. It was a message about ‘opting in’, living life to the fullest and a tribute to a friend and colleague Alan who lost a long, hard-fought battle with cancer. As I’ve noted before in my blog, health isn’t just about what you eat, lift, or how often you get your heart moving. It’s also about attending to your needs, seeking fulfillment in relationships and with your spirituality. I personally think it includes living life to the fullest, and with no-regrets. We don’t all come into the world with the same set of variables, nor into similar circumstances, and the world can be a real challenge to navigate – – let alone do so in a healthy manner. And for some, it can simply get too heavy.
Unfortunately, a dear friend of my family took his own life last week, after years of battling depression and bi-polar disorder. His childhood was very challenging, and frankly I never really knew the nuances of his childhood, where the demons lurked, because my friend was a warm, generous, larger-than-life guy, who outwardly seemed “always up”. He worked hard to manage a really solid career, and was the husband and father that set a high bar in terms of love, encouragement and support. While he always battled his demons, going through protracted periods where he could hold them at bay, as a few variables in his life began to change (e.g. kids moving out of the house, job changes, etc.), the scales began to tip and his depression began getting the best of him. And eventually, he chose to tap out.
While it hurts me to think of my friends last days and moments, I know he lived the best life that he could, and that he made the lives of his wife, children and all who knew him better. So, I’ll remember to hug my wife a little harder, my children a little longer, and remember to be an engaged active friend to those I love. I’ll also, remember my friend, and even though the ending was too soon, and tragic, while he was here, he was “all in”.
There’s song by Lee Ann Womack called “I Hope You Dance.” To be honest, I’m not a big fan of country music, but I love this song and would like to share a few lines with you…
“I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat, but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small, when you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance…
I hope you dance.”
You were a warm and generous friend, and a great family man Scott. Rest in peace.
Small steps add up!!!