We've all seen and shared sentiments that say we should always kiss our loved ones goodbye because we never know if we will see them again. The basic philosophy being that we will not have to regret not making sure the people who are important to us know how we feel about them. I agree with the philosophy but I've always only thought of it from the perspective of the person who is left behind ...I've never considered it from the perspective of the person that's passed on.
When our friend, Tony Cassise, of Did It My Way passed away recently, the outpouring of sadness and loss felt by his friends made me realize that Tony not only did it his way ...he did it extremely well. He lived his life in a way that should be an example to all of us. He was not afraid to get righteously angry when the circumstances called for it. But he was just as quick to be kind and helpful when he saw an opportunity. A good example of both aspects of his character can be found in his April 2009 post, A Friend in Need. He did followup posts on the subject and, in each case, he went over and above what most of us would do for one another in similar circumstances. That was what kind of man he was.
Judging from the memorial website that his family did for him, I would say Tony imparted his values and strength of character to his children. That's his legacy. Most people won't remember their loved ones for what things they accumulated or what accomplishments they had. They will remember them for who they were ...for how they were with other people, in both happy circumstances and not so happy circumstances.
We all have bad days. We all fall short of even our own expectations some days. But if we can remember that every day might be our last day, maybe we would be kinder to each other, quicker to offer encouragement or assistance, less prone to judge and condemn. That's the lesson I hope I've learned from Tony Cassise.