I don't often write personal posts here, but tonight I would like to do just that.
I am blessed to have had several really close friends in my life time. One I have known since I was 8; we met while attending the same dance class, and one I met while in college; we were two of the very last students to sign up for classes because we had missed all of the earlier orientation sessions.
These two friends are cemented in my memory as being part of some of my favorite experiences in life this far.
Among many other things, one helped teach me a love for music, and the other is largely responsible for my love for bicycling.
Today, one of those friends is in prison and the other is only a shadow of what he used to be. The reasons for each of their situations does not matter for this conversation, but it should be made clear that both of them are truly wonderful people that I would entrust my life to no questions asked.
As we go through our daily work lives, it is easy to forget or put aside those people that have helped play a part in where we are today.
Unfortunately, I often find myself only truly reminded of how these two individuals have influenced me when I am around them. Considering the impact they have had in my life throughout the years, I want to try and do better to fully appreciate just how they have impacted the person I am today.
I am sure that everyone can remember a friend or family member that is not who they used to be, or is in a difficult situation, so I would challenge you all to strive to remember and honor the influence they had in you.
In retrospect, I wish that I could go back in time to try and help my friends in a way that would lead them on a better path, but alas that is not within my grasp or even something I should be permitted to do if I had the ability. Each person that walks this earth must make their own choices and each must walk their own path and fight their own battles. The best I can do is help them where I am able and to never permit myself to forget the amazing, wonderful things they have done for me, even if they don't know it.
To you, my friends, I say Thank You.