I attended my friend Lisa's funeral this past Saturday here in Denver. At only 41, she lived a life full of laughter and love. Three hundred people attended her funeral, a tribute to her incredible spirit that profoundly touched us all. She died an incredibly painful and untimely death; but she never gave up fighting to live or surrendered her optimism. As I watched the video that summed up her life---or tried to---I realized how terribly I will miss her and how deeply she touched my soul.
Life lessons Lisa taught me during our friendship:
- Life is too precious to waste doing anything you truly don't want to do.
- If you want something, go out there and get it. Don't let anyone or anything stop you.
- Health is wealth. Take care of yourself and stop making excuses. Now.
- Love is all that matters. Love your family, love your friends, love yourself.
- Practice kindness and gratitude in every moment, no matter how challenging that moment is.
- Laugh as often as possible.
- Be spontaneous.
- Never settle for less because you deserve to live the best life.
- No obstacle is too big to tackle.
- Always think "yes, I can" even when the odds are against you.
- Dance and sing out loud as often as possible.
- Seize opportunity without second-guessing yourself.
- Cherish each one of the people in your life and let them know it.
From now on when I feel stuck or challenged or frustrated, I am going to ask myself, "what would LDW do?" And then I am going to do it. I am going to live life as fully as possible because I am able and I deserve it. Lisa was denied her opportunity to continue living the life she loved so dearly. I will not be denied.