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Offered by Willy Strohmeier – Colorado Karate Club

Willy and JerryLike most of you, I am the type of person that if asked, will tell you that “family comes first.” There is nothing more important I would say. And yet, there are those times that make one reflect, that hit you upside the head to make you realize that maybe you’re falling short of the mark.

Jerry was my father-in-law, he and I were very close. Over the years we became the best of friends. We would go play golf (par 3 mostly because I’m terrible at it), we did house projects together, from fences to installing our sprinkler system, we would also work on computers, from building them to trying different types of Linux Operating systems. We’d spend time as a family too, having Sunday dinners, playing cards, and watching football; even though he hated it when I jumped out of my seat and yelled “Touchdown”, he’d say: “Oh, Willy, calm down!”

My mother in law, with whom I also had a wonderful relationship, had passed away only a year earlier from cancer, and now, Jerry was battling it too. To rid himself from it, he had decided to undergo surgery, which made him quite nervous. The doctors expected it to be a simple procedure. And as a matter of fact, he came out of it well.

My wife went to see him as he recovered, and he was in great spirits. Those days I was busy working on our apparel business, and trying to finish an order of embroidered jackets. My wife came back from the hospital and told me: “You should go see him, he would really like that!” I told her that I would go see him the next day, today I had to finish the order. But as you can imagine, I never got the chance. In the middle of the night, Jerry called and said that there were complications and needed to go back into surgery. His heart couldn’t bear the stress of another surgery, and I lost my dearest friend early that morning.

All these years I have regretted not being there with him and taking time for granted. I think back and realize painfully that no business dealing was ever more important than spending time with Jerry that day. Today though, I use that experience to remind myself of what is truly important. Life is made of little, simple moments with the people we love. And while we must make a living, there is nothing more valuable, more important than making time for those we love.

In your life, today, is there someone who would love to have a little of your time? Someone you could call or visit, but haven’t yet? Pick up the phone, or get in your car, take the time to be with them while time is still on your side.

That is something you will never regret.

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Colorado Karate Club