When my friend sensed that in a few weeks the light of life was about to be extinguished, and that there was no more hope for him, he called me to his side and said, “If only I had lived my life differently, I might not have felt such an emptiness now. Promise me,” he caught my hand, “Promise me that you won’t make the same mistake.” And when I asked him what mistakes, he asked me to get a pen and paper and to jot down his last words. Here they are in condensed form:
1) Talk less; listen more.
2) Listen to your grandfather’s stories about his youth. When he’s gone, you will relive the bond through these memories.
3) Invite friend over for a snack or dinner even if the house is a mess.
4) Eat popcorn in the living room even though its messy.
5) Invite the friends who have children home. Don’t worry about their children creating a mess.
6) Sit on the grass even though it dirties your pants.
7) Never buy something just because it lasts for a long time or because it is practical.
8) Stay in bed and at home when sick and stop pretending that the world cannot go one without me for a day.
9) Light up the wonderfully crafted candles and let them burn out. Better this than they accumulate dust in the closet.
10) Share life’s responsibilities with a partner, not only expenses.
11) (Meant for Women) Instead of waiting for the pregnancy to get over, cherish each moment in your heart. Understand that the life in you is the only chance you will get to help god create magic.
12) Let your children hug and kiss you whenever they wish to. Don’t stop them by saying things like: later, go wash your hands first, we have to eat dinner.
13) Say the following two phrases as often as possible: “I love you” and “I am sorry.”
14) Stop worrying about who loves or and who doesn’t or about what others have or don’t have.
15) Cherish all personal human relations.
16) Play with a pet every day. Laugh and run with it and take part in all its antics.
17) Spend more time with the people who love you.
18) Stop sweating because of all the small details and problems of life.
19) Grab every moment, look at it and live it. That moment will never return again.
Her name was Susan, and she had one six year old daughter. Susan taught me these few basic ideals that I have tried to follow in honour of her memory. It has made me a better man, a much nicer husband and in general, a happier person. Even now I can hear her say that God has blessed each and every one of us, and that we should accept these blessings and strive to become stronger both physically, mentally and also emotionally. I will always remember what she said to me the last time we met: “Jack, you are lucky. Don’t blow it.”