You have a second chance

sunrise

My family is mourning.

This week, we lost a beloved member of our circle. He was a son, a brother, a grandson, a friend, a nephew. And to me, a cousin.

He was young (proof that life isn’t fair). Not even 18. While I’ll never understand why it was his turn, I can say with certainty that his life was not in vain.

Because, he was special.

For example… his wish. Think back to when you were 17. If you were given the opportunity to have one wish granted, what would you have chosen? I’m pretty sure I would have asked *NSYNC to reunite and play me a private concert. I know I’m not the only one.

But my cousin asked for a scholarship. And not for him. For future students. People he’ll never meet. Kids who will have opportunities he didn’t.

What 17-year-old does that?

I’m thankful that my cousin’s journey was memorialized by his dad, who kept us up-to-date through thoughtful blogging. And only a few days ago, one of those updates really opened my eyes. I want to share it with you.

According to his dad, my cousin recently expressed a sage reflection. He said that if he had a second chance, there’s three things he would do. Here’s an excerpt from the blog:

1.  I would care less about what other people think of me..
2.  I would care more about how I make other people feel.
3.  I would live life to the fullest.

Wow.

I don’t know many teenagers with that kind of wisdom. Heck, I don’t know many adults who think that way. It gave me pause. I closed my eyes and tried to think of the three things I would do. Unexpectedly, they came easily:

  1. Worry less
  2. Compliment more
  3. Do more than dream

Without knowing it, that teenage boy inspired me to discover the three things I don’t do enough. That’s powerful.

The difference is: I can fulfill them. At least, for now.

And, so can you.

Maybe you knew my family member. Maybe you didn’t. But either way, you can honor him by learning from him. It only takes a minute. Just close your eyes and think:

If I had the chance to change my life, what would I do?

I encourage you to decide on those three things and hold them close. Because, you have today. You have a second chance to do the things you wish you had.

My love to you all.

Special thanks to those who documented my cousin’s story. I was so inspired, and my hope is that others will be equally moved.

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