#ProjectZen #Day24 #GratitudeProject
I have a private message sitting in my Facebook inbox from a friend. It’s from someone I knew over 25 years ago when I was in the Army in Germany. We weren’t “close friends” back in the day, but we did work together, and he did train me in a new job. He always treated me fairly and kindly.
Through the magic of social media we reconnected and became real friends, both of us tempered by the wisdom, patience and tolerance that comes with hard-won life experience.
A few months ago, he messaged me privately, to reach out to me….when I expressed great unhappiness and regret over my own military experience. These were his words to me (I did edit out some very personal, identifying parts of the message and his name, out of respect for his family’s privacy):
” I am a believer that every thing is for a reason and we all have a calling in life. A goal we must achieve before we pass. It is still out there and I will continue to search, as you should! Struggles will make us strong. Hell, I figured out how to fix a garage door today without it falling on me. The possibilities are now limitless. “
That was the last time we ever communicated. A few weeks ago my friend was murdered in his own drive-way. As he came home, he was confronted by armed burglars that had already been inside his house, and they decided the best way to handle the situation was to kill my friend. They robbed his wife and family of his loving presence. I just cannot wrap my head around the horrible unfairness of it all, how my friend was so happy at this time in his life. Kids. Grand kids. Retired from the military. Happy new marriage. New home. Great second career. All of it gone. In an instant.
Those last words from him, to me…..that bit of kindness…..so sincere and caring…..will never get archived. I want to see his name in my private messages. I want to be reminded of our friendship. I want to be reminded of the good that exists in this world. I want to remember his words.
The possibilities are now limitless. He learned how to fix a garage door the day he wrote to me. Today I learned how to make lime curd. I think he would have been proud of me.
Today I am grateful for last words.