The last time I sat on the boat to head home was likely the happiest I had been since I moved to New York City. I had just left an outing with my closest friends. We shared drinks, caught up, and enjoyed each other’s company for hours. It seemed like time stopped for the night.
I then got on the boat ride home and stared off into the wonderful NYC skyline for what happened to be one of summers most beautiful evenings. I sat up top, outdoors. The weather perfect. The wind still. The lights sparkling on the water below. The boat moved from the glow of the Statue of Liberty, past the World Trade Center and Brooklyn Bridge, and proceeded uptown along the East River.
I stumbled upon a list a psychologist wrote about regrets one faces in their 20s and 30s. Number three struck me. Regret that she had not told the people who mattered to her how much she cared about them. I took the time to send the piece to a select few. I reached out to the people I wanted to share this beautiful message with. I didn’t share it with Kevin. Only twelve hours later I had found out he had left us.
You never know what your words can do for someone, and you never truly understand what’s going on in someone’s life unless you ask. Life can come at you fast. You never know. You never know when it’s the last time.
Tonight, I sit on that same boat. Coincidence that tonight it’s raining and cold? I sit indoors. Only ten days later. I listen to a song that reminds me of my friend. And, I think that it’s not fair that I don’t have him in my life anymore. But, this is what happens in life. Life won’t be fair. It will always deliver us beauty and disaster, and it’s our responsibility to realize we must find balance in between.
A quote from Shel Silverstein stuck with me years ago. She mentioned,
“There are no happy endings.
Endings are the saddest part,
So just give me a happy middle
And a very happy start.”
We can do this if we step out of our own way and realize that life requires us to take time and be part of each other’s lives. I wish I was part of Kevin’s that night. Maybe I could have saved him. Maybe it was too late. But, I do know one thing for a fact. I’ll never know. Don’t let that happen to you. If you feel like you should check in, then make the call to say you love them. Talk to them. You will never regret that. You will regret avoiding it. It’s a feeling you’ll never want.
Just communicate. Just love.