Friday, April 12, 2013

Live Life by Helping Others

When I was just out of high school, I watched one of the most genuine, sweet, kind, and fun ladies I had ever met fade away and die from leukemia.  She too was just out of high school and at the time was dating a good friend of mine.  Having never witnessed my buddy show much emotion, it was additionally eye opening to see him torn apart by her death.
When you are 18, very few things are serious.  Everything may seem important but the reality is  few things are treated that way.  The day of Delina Denney's funeral, I watched all the people affected by her passing and realized life is no game.  Harshly apparent was the fact you could be having fun one month, and dead the next.  With that in mind I began to live that way.
Four years later, some friends visited me at college.  Later that night, while my friends and I discussed the good old days, her name was brought up; the room fell silent.  Sitting there, no doubt all of us thinking the same things, nothing was said for at least thirty seconds.  Still being a bunch kids, one of us eventually changed the subject and we never mentioned it again.
Delina was easily the best individual among our group; her smile would light up the darkest of rooms, she had turned my friend into a softie, and when all was said and done none of us could understand why it was her who had died.  We were all better candidates for an early exit and not long after that night in college, I gave a small amount to the fight against Leukemia in her name, and have done so each year since.
Help a survivor help others:
If you would like to contribute to the fight against leukemia, please do so by clicking here.  The link will take you to a site where, on the right side of the screen, there is a donation button.  The main part of the page includes the story of an upstanding man, Tom McCord, with whom I have  had the pleasure of knowing for almost ten years.  Having been affected by leukemia himself, he has now been nominated for the Indianapolis Man & Woman of the Year campaign benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).   Every dollar contributed to the fight is also vote for Tom as the Indianapolis Man of the Year.

1 comment:

Mindy Lyons said...

That was a beautiful story Rich. It's so true that life is short. Sounds like your friend had a major impact on all who were lucky enough to know her.
Mindy Lyons