I’m not going to do that today.
Most of you reading this are probably wondering who that woman is in the photo. That is my best friend's mother, Marcie, whom the world lost Thursday Feb. 18th, 2016 very unexpectedly.
It absolutely rocked my world, and as expected my best friend Sam, and his family are devastated.
I personally, have been going through the gamut of emotions, from anger to sadness, with many moments of happiness minced in there when thinking of her.
You see, Sam is more than just my best friend he is my brother, and I his. We truly believe that to our cores. We have both gone through hell many times over, and have always had each other to help get through it. I wouldn’t be here today able to tell you all of this if not for his support through some of my darkest times. I can only hope that everyone reading this has someone like him in your lives.
She was active, outgoing, and passionate about everything she did.
Anytime I walked into the house or saw her on the street she’d let out a big, loud, “Roberto!” Her term of endearment for me, and though she didn’t always have a funny twist on everyone’s name, it was the loving tone and loud volume of the greeting that made it so special. I think none of our friends will ever get used to that detail being gone from their lives.
I’m not looking for your prayers or your condolences here, as those should be reserved for her sons (my best friend Sam and Noah, his younger brother), parents, and sister.
So rather than talking about exercise today, I wanted to talk about her, and the one lesson I learned from her that resonates with me the most. In part because that is the best way I know how to deal with my own grief, and more importantly because this would be the message she would want everyone to hear from her.
Marcie loved many things, but helping others is the one that will never fade from her legacy.
She became a therapist, and an amazing one at that, working with some of the most vulnerable of people, victims of abuse.
If you met her, you’re immediate reaction to that would be, “Well duh! Of course she’s a therapist,” because any other career would’ve have been a waste of her god given talent.
She understood people and their feelings like no other.
If you ever had a problem, she was always willing to listen without ever judging, no matter how ridiculous the problem actually was. She always made you feel like she was on your side as a teammate helping you to overcome whatever that issue was.
It was from Marcie that I learned to be empathetic and compassionate, a trait which has allowed me to be the coach I am today.
Marcie also grew up a dancer, and always had a second love for that.
She was lucky enough to re-discover her passion for dance and producing dance shows through an organization called Across The Ages Dance Project, which gets people of all different ages, backgrounds, and abilities together to produce yearly shows.
I mention this dance project because this is something she did for no other reason than her love of it.
I think too often we are told that you should find a way to make a living only doing what you love, and though it is truly great when you are able to do so, as I am, I think we're the lucky ones.
In my opinion, it’s ok to do something professionally, that maybe you don’t love but are good at and it pays the bills.
What I do want for everyone though, and more to the point, what Marcie would want for everyone, is to go out and find what it is you do love, chase after that passion, and make sure it is always a part of your life.
I know that she left that message marked on the souls of Sam, Noah, myself and all our friends.
No matter who you are, you deserve to have love in your life.
If any one of you have been moved or inspired by this piece, then I have honored her memory, and her family correctly.
If you'd like to help show further support to her legacy, Sam and Noah are asking that people donate to her dance project in her honor. They plan to create a scholarship in her name, to allow others who are less privileged the opportunity to take dance classes.