Last Saturday morning, around 7:00 AM, I awoke to a text from one of my best friends and business partner, Chris Kent. He was informing me his wife, Deloris, had suffered a brain aneurysm and was going into surgery. The sick feeling I had as I rolled over to share the news with my wife is indescribable. It felt surreal, almost like a bad dream.
I thought about Deloris and hoped she wasn’t in any pain. I thought about Chris, their two daughters, and how frightened they must have been. I thought about my friends, Enidio and Mary Magel, and how they lost their daughter, Missy, to this terrible disease. As I hugged my wife, I was reminded just how fragile life can be. In a matter of seconds, our world can be turned upside down.
After trading a few texts with Chris, I spoke to my other business partner, Ian, and we decided to meet as soon as possible at the hospital. As the next few hours unfolded several other close friends and family members gathered in the ICU waiting room at St. Joseph’s Hospital. During the long surgery we all sat there, on pins and needles, and nothing else in our lives mattered. EVERYTHING took a back seat to our friend who was fighting for her life.
In the normal course of our life it is easy to lose sight of what matters. Too often we find ourselves worried about stuff that is insignificant. Believe me; if you have a roof over your head, a stomach full of food, family, friends, and good health, then you are far better off than most in this world. This is not to say you shouldn’t strive for more, to be the best you can be. And, it’s not to say you shouldn’t compete, full out, in the game of life.
But don’t lose perspective of what really matters.
After several hours in surgery, the Doctor came out to inform Chris that it was a success. You can imagine how relived we all felt. Even though Deloris was not yet “out of the woods,” all signs were very positive. What could have been a horrible tragedy became a wonderful day of friends and family coming together, supporting one another, and praying for the best for Deloris. I promise you this; not one of us left the hospital that day with any stress or worry for the small, mundane, nuisances of life we often let ruin or day. We were not worried about business; we were not worried about anything. We were only thinking about Deloris, and celebrating the fact that she was ok. We were pondering all of the blessings in our lives and realizing how good we really have it. And most of all, we were all thinking about just how fragile life can be.
So, don’t wait for some tragedy to make you realize what is most important in your life. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Give someone you love a big hug and remember these words from one of my favorite Caroline Kole songs:
“Count Your blessings, Not Your Problems.”
Wishing you all the success you will allow yourself to have!
The Missy Project is a nonprofit organization, founded by my good friends Mary and Enidio Magel who lost their daughter, Missy, to this terrible disease. It is dedicated to raising awareness of Brain Aneurysm Disease in children through education, outreach and early detection. If you would like to make a donation to The Missy Project in honor of Deloris Kent please click here.