I have been disturbed for the past few months after receiving a phone call from a very good friend’s wife that she had put her husband into hospice and my distress was only amplified after visiting my friend the next day and seeing him in a terminal condition. As there was nothing I could do to prevent the outcome, I began to write this blog to vent my anger and frustration. In the middle of this task I received a phone call that he had passed away.
I first met Joel and his family shortly after moving to Florida thirty-two years ago and our families have been close ever since, in part because we are very similar. We are the same age, born one month apart, we were both raised in Chicago and married at about the same time, had two sons of close to the same ages and shared similar lifestyles. Our children grew up together and we socialized frequently over the past few decades. When their children and ours were grown we became empty nesters together, rejoicing in each other’s children’s weddings and we became regular dinner companions and enjoyed traveling together on several vacations.
Joel had been in poor health for several years, suffering from a wide variety of ailments, maladies and illnesses. He probably spent more time in than out of hospitals in the past five years and we often joked that he was the sickest human being we knew that was still alive. But in the past he always managed to pull through, albeit with an increasing number of surgical scars and missing pieces.
Prior to the past few years Joel had enjoyed what I believe would be considered by most people to be a good life. He was a good person, honest, caring and giving with a unique sense of humor. He had a loving and dedicated family which now included two grandchildren, had assembled a very large group of good friends, achieved substantial success in several businesses and reached a modicum of financial comfort but serious illness seemed to plague not only him but also his entire family.
Thinking about this made me remember and appreciate two basic truths in life:
1. It is essential that we always live in the moment, cherishing each and every second of our lives and making certain that we remember what is really important and act so that there are no regrets; I wrote about that subject in a prior blog – http://www.residentialmarketingblog.com/2011/10/what%E2%80%99s-really-important/
2. There is no substitute for good luck.