I was going to write about lipstick today, pink lipstick in fact, but then I took a shopping adventure. Radio was blaring, I wish I could say the windows were down, but it’s been a typhoon for the past 24 hours. The rain did not deter me from singing, loudly and off key, to every song on the radio. Then Kenny Chesney “I Go Back” came on and my singing abruptly stopped. You see, people lovingly call me an audiophile, I relate a great deal to music. This song has a line, ” And I go back to the loss of a real good friend. And the sixteen summers I shared with him. Now “Only The Good Die Young” stops me in my tracks. Every time I hear that song.” I mumbled the lyrics, fighting back tears, with a gigantic smile on my face.
That smile is always on my face when Trav crosses my mind, even if from time to time tears accompany the smile. That goofy grinning guy above, sorry for the picture it’s a print circa 2001, is my best friend. My strength and laughter for countless days of my life. We lost him suddenly in 2003, but this isn’t about his death… it’s about how he lived.
And he lived a selfless amazing life.
If you needed something you could count on Trav to be the first one there. He smiled with laughter that filled an entire room. I didn’t realize until I got a few years under my belt that he’d spent the better part of our friendship protecting me. I never asked him to, I was as proud at 10 as I am now at 30, but he knew that my world could be a pretty scary place even if I couldn’t admit it. His heart was so very gentle and kind. In short he was my gentle lion. Quiet and reserved, but would attack to protect those he cared for.
He lived his life embodying the word, kindness.
Some days I forget to live my life with that same kindness. I honk angrily at the car in front of me who crawls 10 miles under the speed limit in the fast lane, side note please don’t ever drive under the speed limit in the passing lane. Life gets the better of me and I snap at my little kiddo when we are running late. Instead of going to bed I stay up watching Netflix until 4 am, so 7 am I’m grumptastic to say the least. I simply forget to be happy and make a world of selfless action around me. It’s so easy to go through your day tired and crabby or rushed and irritated. What I want to do is encourage you to take a breath and release the negative juju before it impacts the world you are creating.
The only guarantee in life is change, everything at some point in time will change. We can’t avoid change or force time to stand still, but we can remember to roll with the punches. When the world gets you down, laugh at it. There is humor all around us if we can simply turn off the negative thought record player in our heads. Focus on the good, embrace the awesome, and trust that the rest of the stuff will work itself out. Practice random acts of kindness, do something special for those who mean the most to you, and don’t forget to take care of yourself too.
What Trav taught me is to love life, love others, and love myself. It’s really hard to be a big ole jerk face when you’re smiling and embracing kindness.
When you’re out there today, think before you speak or act. Have a Trav sort of day.
(Closing with one of Trav’s favorite groups)