Leadership Design Alliance | Chicago Executive Coaching



Just Walk Around the Darn Thing

For those of you who have read my blogs, you know I often pull lessons from the conversations I have with my clients.  Those conversations always have an important take-away for me – take-aways I’m eager to share.  Sometimes, however, my blogs are more about my own personal journey.  Today’s blog is personal, so possibly a bit less comfortable.

This past Friday my husband and I lost a good friend to cancer.  While we only knew C.D. the last two years of his life, the connection with him and his wife was immediate.  It’s unusual to have couple friends – you know – those relationships where all four of you completely get along and enjoy each other’s company.  This was one of those.

I don’t want to dwell on the sadness of C.D.’s death.  I want to celebrate the man and our friendship.  We would spend long, relaxed evenings together over a meal getting to know each other.  How wonderful to absolutely and completely trust that the most personal stories you shared would be met with – yes – laughter, teasing, and validation.  True friends!

Here’s what he gave us – even when it wasn’t easy.

  • He never made anyone feel bad about his illness.  He understood the seriousness, acknowledged it, and then walked around the darn thing to live his life as fully as he could.
  • When we were with him, we talked about all the everyday things most people talk about – family, politics, and even religion!  He made us feel that his cancer was nothing special, just part of the normal cycle of life.
  • There was no pretense…just an authentic, vulnerable and beautiful will to live life to its fullest. 
  • He didn’t isolate himself.  He would meet friends at Starbucks and join us for a breakfast at a favorite haunt.  
  • He was a story teller.  He shared his life in story.  You couldn’t help but tag along in anticipation of the ride ahead.
  • He was a person full of love and joy.  Even when we weren’t with him in the final weeks, we felt his presence.  

Quite a legacy.  Quite a call to LIVE.  His life and death help me remember how important it is to live a life of purpose.  Where do I make a meaningful difference?  Who am I meant to be?

Maybe – just maybe – living a life of purpose IS the bottom line.  That means giving attention to the things that are most important.  We find joy in those things that matter…pain in the things that don’t feed our soul and distract us. 

I feel lucky to have known C.D.  He was and will always be a treasured gift.  This is a tribute to him. 



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