7.02.2013

When Time Is Gone, It's Fucking Gone

Shit happens. And when it does, you're going to look back at all the time you had before the shit happened and how much of it you lost.

I have a best friend. His name is Jeremy Halvorsen. This guy is amazing. He's never let me down. Every time I've ever needed him, he leapt up and joined the fight, whatever that fight may have been. He's been with me through thick and thin for over 10 years now. And I only met his mother in person for the first time this past March.

Michelle Halvorsen raised my best friend. She is a terrific mother. She's taken good care of this guy I look up to and respect. She made him who he is today. And I only just met her three months ago. Sure, we've heard everything there is to hear about each other through Jeremy. We've talked on the phone a few times, and the love and respect for each other was there even without face to face contact on a regular basis. I felt that when I finally got to hug her. I loved her instantly.

Sadly, yesterday, she passed away from cancer. Three months after I finally met her and began visiting Connecticut regularly and could see her more often, she's gone. And that makes me sad and angry, both for the loss of someone wonderful that just came into my life and for the fact that I let ten years pass without meeting her.

Did I waste all that time? Well, in that ten years, there was work... Oh, there's always work. Books written, tours taken, websites built, companies run, money made, money lost... Work, work, work. It has to get done. I can't beat myself up for that, can I?

And then there was the times I wasn't working during my travels, where I visited lots of places and saw lots of neat things and needed to relax. I can't really punish myself for that. It's how life goes -- you tax yourself; you have to recharge.

Hours and days spent hanging out with Jeremy, in person and via Skype, working on projects and building cool things, playing video games... That wasn't wasted. It was bonding and it was fun.

So did I really waste ten years where I could have met and gotten to hang out with Mrs. Halvorsen? My brain wants to tell me yes. Over and over again, yes, I could have gotten up there and met her way sooner. But it wasn't a priority.

But that's unfair. It was my friend's mom. I loved her and respected her from afar. And now, I have no other choice but to do that, because this amazing and lovely lady has passed on. And I'm left to think about all the opportunities I didn't take to meet her, see her, get to know her, and most importantly, let her know I loved her for bringing my best friend into the world.

She knew that I loved her, even though we never hung out. I know that. But that's just not enough. It's NEVER enough. Sure, work got done, but there's ALWAYS more work. Money was made, but there's ALWAYS more money. Games were played, but there's ALWAYS more games to play.

You never, ever have enough time. When it's gone, it's fucking gone.

Don't waste a second of it.

Talk to strangers. Get to know new people. Share your stories. Laugh and cry with them. Make them your friends. When they are your friends, spare no opportunity to tell them how you feel about them and why. You don't have to obsessively talk about it, but you can absolutely show it in literally millions of ways. Help them. Be there for them. Take care of them, and thank them when they take care of you. Meet their mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers. You don't have to like them, but hey, what if you do? Get to a place in your life where you can understand what "family" really means. It's the only thing that matters. Blood does not make family, love makes family. Understand that, and you understand life.

And for your own sanity's sake, say "I love you" more than you think is necessary. It never gets old. Ignore that conflicting voice in your head that keeps whispering about how embarrassing it is to say and just say it (but only if you mean it). Because when their time runs out, you're going to wish you had... But more importantly, when yours runs out, they'll know exactly how you felt.

Rest in peace, Mrs. Halvorsen.