“Do not save your loving speeches for your friends till they are dead. Do not write them on their tombstones, speak them rather now instead.” –Anna Cummins

Years of collecting quotes has dampened the story of discovery this quotation for the first time. However, the speed and ease of simple searches online returned this quote to me this evening.

I always struggle in interpreting quotations because they often speak so directly to me. I cannot imagine them being understood in any other way than the way that I see, feel, and experience them in the moment. Cummins suggests that saving our words of gratitude, admiration, kindness, love, and each piece and reason for joy for tombstones and eulogies makes little sense. Why wait? Why hold on to those feelings when we could share them now? Why not tell those friends how much they mean to you or what joy they’ve brought to your life? Why not tell other people of their kindness and friendship now?

“Do not save your loving speeches for your friends till they are dead. Do not write them on their tombstones, speak them rather now instead.” –Anna Cummins

Tonight, August 19, 2008 at 6:26pm, JD Probasco earned his wings. I went to school with JD. He was one of the most gentle, kind, and caring individuals. He was the big teddy bear who listened to country music while working out in the weight room for football. He was so much more than that too. I can’t remember now if I ever told him how much I admired him. He was so smart and so much fun to be around. Seeing him in the hallways at school always brought a smile to my face and light to my day. But did he know? Did he know how much of an impact he had on the world around him? Did I maybe write these things in his year book? I don’t know. I can’t remember back that far. Clearly, this quote resonates deep in my soul tonight. As I see my friends’ hearts break at losing one of our own, my own heart breaks. As I think to the future and consider that I will not see JD at my high school reunion, I will not see him randomly when I make a trip home, I will not see him ever… my heart breaks. It breaks for his family and for his friends. My heart aches at the thought that others did not get a chance to know him. He should be known.

I hope that people can recognize the importance behind these words. Too often, I see that life isn’t long enough. It is cut short by accidents, disorders, diseases, and probably other categories I’m not thinking of at the moment. As any regular readers would know, the destructive forces of cancer take lives too early and too often and that is the reason I am TRI-ing as I am. JD didn’t die from cancer and while I do not know the exact cause, I do know that he died too young. I know that Courtney Nicole died too young. I know that others have gone too soon and each time I am reminded that life is fragile and we must make the most of each and every moment. We must love the people in our lives and let them know that we love them. Share that love and admiration and have no regrets. Do not save those words for later because you might not get later. You have now.

“Do not save your loving speeches for your friends till they are dead. Do not write them on their tombstones, speak them rather now instead.” –Anna Cummins

Rest in peace old friend… and say hi to my grandpa and Courtney. You are and will be missed forevermore.

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