I was working on a different word for h but sometimes things happen and we need some flexibility, right?
During dinner last night a text from my brother Tate rang through. It read, “Do you remember Rick Furman?” I did, actually. He had been a good friend of my brother’s from high school on into adulthood.
I worry when, at my age, someone asks me out-of-the-blue if I remember someone. I always expect the next thing I read or hear is that the person has died. Sadly, that was the case here. When I asked him what had happened, the phone began ringing and I knew I’d hear my little brother’s voice on the other end.
Before I go any further, I just want to say I’ve changed the name of my brother’s friend for privacy’s sake. Knowing any details are of no benefit here.
Last week Tate’s good friend died by his own hand, but not before calling my brother to ask him a few parting favors and to tell him what a good friend he’d been. I can’t imagine how difficult that was. Of course my brother tried to talk Rick out of his decision, but in the end there was nothing he could do. Geographically speaking, Tate was too far away to reach his friend in time, but he also didn’t know Rick’s exact location.
I wept with my brother last night as I listened to him tell this heartbreaking account of the last moments with his life-long buddy. There were really no words I could offer to make anything better, but I wanted Tate to know that Rick called him out of all the people he knew because he knew he could count on my brother. There was a solid history there, years of trust and camaraderie mixed in with the girls, mud, cars and fun.
Tate was asked to eulogize Rick at his funeral this week. Who better for that than the man Rick chose to spend his final moments with? I could hear the pride in his voice as he told me how he’d chosen to honor his friend’s life.
We never fully understand how we impact the lives of others. We don’t know how our friends and loved ones truly see us. Most times we never know, but once in a great while someone shows us what we’ve meant to them. Tragically, it seems that so many of us wait — we wait until it’s almost too late to tell people how treasured they’ve been. For many people, by the time they realize they need to say something, it’s already too late and the time has passed.
What are we waiting for? The people we love, treasure, respect, and look up to aren’t always gong to be here. Let’s let them know what their lives have meant to us now while we all have time to enjoy what is so meaningful, yet so very, very ephemeral.