I intended to go a very different direction with this post, but got some unexpected news last Friday that changed my tune. Many years ago, when my mom and I moved from Miami to Lakeland, Florida I met an older man who lived across the street. His name was Alex Young and he grew up in Tucson, Arizona. He also spent time in combat during the Korean War. When I met him he was well into retirement, but he wasn’t idle…not by a long shot. He was forever tinkering with something in his shop and I was his helper whenever I was free. He liked woodworking, metal, all of it. He was very industrious and liked being useful. He was, as they say, a man’s man and I loved the guy.
Over the many years since we first met, Alex began suffering from a number of health issues. I won’t get into all of them, but I will say that it always hurt me to see him suffer. He has always been such a proud, strong man and I knew he wasn’t happy with his new predicament.
We didn’t meet as much as I’d have liked to since I left Lakeland. I would always stop in and say hello when I was in town for a visit, but since I got back from Indonesia a few months ago, I kept putting off going over. Everyday I’d have this internal debate about whether to go see him this or that day. The next thing you know, I’m in a car and on my way to Denver. Alex passed a week and a half later.
My heart sank when I learned the news. It’s sinks now to think of it. I will always regret not going to see him. I know it would’ve made me sad to see him in such poor condition, but that’s not a good enough excuse. He would’ve been happy to see me. I have to live with that now. I vow to never make that mistake again. Don’t put off today what may not come tomorrow. Time and time again I am reminded that the future is promised to know one. Show those you care about how much they mean to you. Hug them, call them, write…whatever. Life’s to unpredictable not to.
Alex, I’m so very sorry. I will miss you.