I want to blog about the friends that were lost in the fire while I was gone, and how many lives you can touch without realizing it. I don’t think I even considered it until they were gone, just how many people they touched.

One of them I knew a bit better. When I say knew, these were people we sailed with, partied with, did volunteer projects with. We knew them, but didn’t at the same time. I knew him better than I knew her, in large part because of a prickly exterior that she liked to project to the world. We all knew better, but I will admit that I didn’t make the effort to get past it most of the time to know her better. As for him, you know how they say some people never spoke an ill word of anyone? He was one of those, for real. I literally never heard him utter a negative word about anyone, in the years I knew him.

He had a repressive religious upbringing, that I only recently found out about. I always wondered where he found the courage to live as fearlessly as he did, and it explained so much. He cast off all of the negativity of the religion he was raised with, and kept every single bit of the good. Not selfless, but so far from selfish. This man would give you the shirt off his back. He was in a profession where he could and did use his privilege to help people that others in his profession would never have listened to. He regularly did that. He was a part of my oldest daughter’s village (you know, “it takes a village to raise a child”) in a way that I am grateful for.

I am going to try to be a better person. I *do* speak ill of others more than I’d like to admit. I will strive to change that. And, I am going to try to live with less fear. In honor of that, I did something I’ve talked about doing for years. I called a voice coach. I LOVE to sing, I mean truly. It’s a passion, and I do it for hours a day in my car, when I’m cleaning, basically anytime I’m alone or with the very few people in my life that I’m not afraid to sing in front of. I’m going to actually finally take some lessons, because as the universe has recently pointed out in a way closer to home than has happened in a long time in my life, life is already short but sometimes much shorter than you’d ever guess. So, instead of “some day”, the day is now.

~Jane

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