by Steve Goodier
Author Erynn Miller said: "It takes a lot of understanding, time
and trust to gain a close friendship with someone. As I approach
a time in my life of complete uncertainty, my friends are my most
I had a friend who felt that way. I sat next to Hal's "death-bed"
and thought about the fact that I had known him for over twenty
years. Hal knew he was dying and that these next few days would
be his last. I held his hand.
We spent time reminiscing about his long and fruitful career as a
church pastor. We talked about old friends. We chatted about his
family. And I listened as he offered a piece of sage wisdom to
someone he believed represented a "younger generation."
Hal seemed to carefully consider what he was about to say next.
Then he squeezed my hand, gazed intently into my eyes and
whispered, just loud enough for me to hear, "Nothing is more
important than relationships."
I knew that this utterance somehow mattered a great deal to him.
He seemed to consider a lifetime of experiences - personal,
professional, spiritual and family - and this one simple
observation surfaced above the rest: "Nothing is more important
"Don't get too caught up in your career," he said. "And don't use
people just to get what you want, then throw them away. No
project, no program, no task - NOTHING - is more important than
your friends and family." I never knew Hal that well, but I
wondered if he were talking as much to himself as to me.
Remember," he repeated, "that in the end, only your relationships
will matter. Tend them well."
Writer Og Mandino put it this way: "Beginning today," he said,
"treat everyone you meet as if he or she were going to be dead by
midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding
you can muster, and do so with no thought of any reward. Your
life will never be the same again."
At the end of a long life, my friend Hal would have agreed.
Steve Goodier's books & newsletter: http://LifeSupportSystem.com.