Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What I Hope I've Learned

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.   

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Blogger Mayberry said...

Tony was a wondeful man, and I learned a lot from him. I've always kissed my wife and kids before I left the house and told them I love them. But now, I am going to fight harder than ever for our Freedom from the debt and tax monster, because we just don't know when our number will be up. That's a lesson Tony taught me when he was still alive, and is more poiniant than ever now that he's gone. We only have so much time, so let's keep as much of it as we can...

September 22, 2010 at 11:26 PM  
Blogger Mamma Bear said...

Thanks for the post HB.... I have not read the blogs in a couple of days so I did not see the notice of Tony's passing. His sharp wit and travels always put a smile on my face. He will be missed.

September 23, 2010 at 7:01 AM  
Blogger Kelle said...

Sadly I must say I didn't know Tony, but it is evident he was certainly a loved man. I have been reading on his blog and see why. We need more people to impart his type of life lessons and I can see it now moves forward with all he imparted this to, thank you for sharing this, you and old furt :o)

I love that APN is doing "Pay it Forward" bucks at your and old furt's suggestion. We've been doing this for years, well since our Dd was so gravely ill and someone gave us a lending hand up and then told us to simply "Pay it Forward", so this has been our message ever since.

September 23, 2010 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger The Craftivist said...

I must say that I didn't know Tony, but he certainly sounds like a wonderful friend and father. I appreciate your sincere, thoughtful and loving post not only about your friend but about losing a loved one in general.
God bless,

September 23, 2010 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger WomanWhoRunsWithHorses said...

Thank you all for the comments. I think most of us post mainly for ourselves, a kind of emotional outlet. But feedback is always nice ...always appreciated.

We can't take credit for the 'pay it forward' bucks from APN. A group of friends got together and helped us when we were struggling last year and since we didn't know who had contributed what, we contacted APN to ask about paying it back. It was Tom at APN who suggested we use the Pay It Forward Bucks so that's what we've done. The first check went out last Monday and the last check went out Wednesday because we had to wait on an address confirmation. I hope what we sent helps the people we sent it to and that they are able to pay it forward themselves someday. Truly a gift that keeps on giving.

September 25, 2010 at 2:04 PM  
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