I didn't know him personally. He was the friend of a friend. He was actually, from what I can gather, the friend of an entire city -- a well-loved television news personality in San Diego, CA.
His name was Loren Nancarrow.
And he was beautiful -- physically, and in his heart and soul. And even though I did not know him personally, I know this for sure.
Less than a year ago, he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. He decided to share this experience with the people who knew and loved him -- and with those who would come to wish they knew him and loved him from afar -- via his blog, The Nancarrow Project, and his Facebook page. Through is postings, and those of his lovely wife and children, he shared the experience of living with -- and dying from -- this terrible, cruel cancer.
He was, through it all, beautiful... and brave and funny and matter-of-fact and real.
His words -- every post -- affected me. Full of honesty and humor and compassion, they made me smile or cry or resolve to do more and better... and always, wish I knew personally the man who wrote them.
I read a lovely tribute to this beautiful, very real man this morning (you can read it in its entirety here). In it, the author listed five lessons Loren Nancarrow imparted to the people he touched:
- Find reasons to rejoice.
- Anticipate "the possibilities of tomorrow."
- Remain in awe of sunsets.
- "Wherever they are, whatever they may be, seek out your passions and cultivate them” while also being mindful "that it is far better to do good for others, than to do good for oneself."
- Be curious.
My heart aches for a life cut short... for his family, who clearly adored him and will miss him beyond comprehension... for his friends, whose lives he enriched beyond measure.
I will miss his words -- his insight, his courage, his humor. And I will take his lessons to heart, because they are damned good ones.
And I'll be thinking of the lessons I hope to leave behind one day.
What lessons would you like to leave?