Vita Vivet, Amre Vita!

I love this saying. It’s Latin for “Live Life, Love Life.”

There are many times along this journey of life that we must be reminded of that which is truly important. Our day-to-day lives become the focus of everything. Get up in the morning, maybe hit the gym, go to work, phone calls start at 8 a.m., have a conference call at 9 a.m, try to get some work done, help fellow employees with revenue plans, take a lunch break to clear the head, answer a ton of emails, work on plan to make plan, have another meeting at 2 p.m, maybe a few more calls depending on the day, find time to write a column, approve days off for fellow employees and make a plan for the next day that I am usually unable to follow. Right, but at least it’s a starting point for the next day.

Next Day = “Second Verse, Same as the First.” All along feeling as though this is what is needed to be successful. We are diligent, we are focused, and we are ready…

Last weekend, I received news that a lifelong friend had passed away from a heart attack. He was 53 years old, a year behind me in school. He and I played baseball and basketball together from the time we were in elementary school all the way through high school. Our families were close. My father coached us in high school along with his older brother.

I remember one Babe Ruth baseball game where my dad (the head coach) was thrown out of the game by my friend’s father for arguing a bad call. I was playing second base at the time, and was frustrated myself that my father had been ejected. So, I was getting a little lippy. Not smart, and I probably could have been next to be ejected. But my friend’s father came up to me and made a comment (Richie, as he called me: "It’s a game, let’s play ball."). And so the game commenced.

I’ve thought a lot about my friend over the past few days since his passing. How young he was and how will his wife and kids cope with this loss. He was a great person, just like the rest of his family. We may not have always agreed on everything, especially as we grew older, but we were always friends.

Interestingly enough, my friend stopped me in my tracks about 10 years ago as well. I was a publisher of a small town newspaper in Oklahoma. One weekend, a post came over my Facebook Feed. That was back when you could read more about friends and family and see less ads.

My friend and his wife were late bloomers when they decided it was time to grow their family and begin having kids. Their first child was to be a son, however, due to complications during the pregnancy, they lost their son at 32 weeks. Heartbreaking for any parent, but I could sense it hit him harder as he began to question life, his faith and the reason these things happen. Their tight-knit family helped them cope with the loss and, ultimately, find closure.

As the next 10 years passed, my friend and his wife had two children, both girls who their daddy doted on day in and day out. It was truly beautiful to see.

My friends, we never know when our last day will be. We like to think we are invincible at times and life can often make us feel that way. But we are not. Take time to “Live Life and Love Life." I have this saying on my Facebook Page as a daily reminder. But I too become engulfed or overwhelmed by my day-to-day life and don’t stop and think about what’s really important.

Live life to its fullest. Love life every single day. When not at work, focus on those in your life who are the most important part of your life, such as your wife, kids, family and friends. People who care more about you, rather than what you do.

Live Life, Love Life – Because it truly is a Great Life, if we allow it to be.

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