Okay, maybe manifesto is a bit strong, but given this environment I thought it was appropriate.
I had a "Crescentia" moment on Friday. Crescentia Healy True, whom I only knew for a few years, but I miss every minute of every day, was the most inspirational, amazing, fun, funny caring strong individual I’ve ever met. The fact that she died of the same disease I had scares the shit out of me, but also ties me to her in a way that is inexplicable to anyone who has not had breast cancer. The fact that we share the same doctor and the same drugs and the same treatments and the fact that I now have the privilege of working with her sister on a daily basis all impact my life every day. But more than anything, I touch my “Be True” green rubber bracelet that some friends created in her honor, a hundred times a day and ask “what would Crescentia do?” Because if I do what she would do, the world will be a better place.
A decade ago, another wonderful friend of mine, Kathy Morong, died of breast cancer as well, She was the kindest, most lovely woman, and probably one of the best moms I ever met. At the time she was going thru the cancer process, I was clueless, but I always admired her strength, and the wisdom she instilled in her children. To this day I hate the fact that I wasn’t there for her more.
All that having been said, this is what I learned from these two amazing women.
- Staying Alive comes first – run, exercise, do something to keep yourself healthy
- Relationships are next. Without friends, you are nothing. A friend, or a connection extends your lifespan by a decade. Put your friends first. The pain of losing a friend is the worst you’ll ever experience. Spend time with the friends you have while you have them. They might be gone tomorrow or next week, you never know.
- No one ever lay on their death bed and wished they’d spent more time vacuuming, or at work, or asleep
- Make a difference. There are millions of people on the planet that just take up oxygen. Do you want to be one of them, or do you want to make a difference.?
- Be who you are and see who is pleased, stop trying to make everyone happy. You can’t.
- If you decide that who you are is someone who wants to make a difference, your life will never be the same. You will experience more joy, more exhilaration, every single day.
- You don’t have to make a difference on the whole while world. Make a difference in your community, in your family, in your neighborhood. It’s just as important.
- After breathing, the most important thing in life is caring.
- If you don’t build a values based business, your business has no true value
- Be true to your values, your beliefs, your vision, your soul. Nothing else matters
- Ask yourself, every day: What would Crescentia do? What would Kathy do?
- It’s okay to miss your friends, it preserves their memories.
- Everything happens for a reason
- If the person you thought would be there for you isn’t there. don’t whine about being let down, See it as a gift that makes you stronger and forces you to do things for yourself.
- Having cancer or having any life-threatening illness is a lesson in letting go. If you are too tired to breathe, that is life telling you to slow down and let other people care for you. It’s okay. It’s part of being human
- Listen to the times and people and the circumstances when you want to pull that “cancer card” If its not worth doing when you’re sick, why is it worth doing when you’re feeling great?
- Find clarity. Be clear about your priorities. If you can find clarity, you can accomplish much.
- Be understanding of words, but less understanding of actions. Lots of people will tell you they’ll be there to help, To the ones who really showed up, I’ll love you forever.