I lost another old friend this week.
Andy Filliault was an old friend and fellow soldier that I served with for years. He was a little older than I am, maybe by three years or so, but the man was the picture of perfect health and fitness. I never knew him to have any real bad habits, or skip a workout, and every time I had the chance to catch up with him, he seemed to never age.
Andy’s smile and laugh were infectious, and when we did reunite, it wouldn’t take long for us to laugh about old times and share stories. I’d always make sure to pick on his purple BMW motorcycle that I still claim looked like Prince’s bike from Purple Rain. He’d typically say something along the line of “Shut up ya little dink”, (impersonating a Sergeant we both knew from our earlier days in the Army). I’d just laugh and ask him when he was going to get a Harley, which he’d assure me would never happen.
But despite being the epitome of a healthy man in his mid-fifties, he had recently developed stage four esophageal cancer, and it quickly took it’s toll, and he passed away a short time later. Once again cancer had reared it’s ugly head, robbing us of one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet, and leaving me once again, mourning the loss of an old friend.
I’ve lost many friends over the years, and each time it has effected me differently. In my younger days, I’d mourn usually by drinking to their memory, stunned by what had happened, and ignorant in the belief that it couldn’t happen to me.
The loss of a friend a few years ago was partially the inspiration for this blog and my very first post. A year or so later, when I lost two of my oldest friends only days part, I was moved to write what I still feel is the best piece I’ve ever written, “Keep Moving Forward”, in an effort to cope with my pain and try to sort out all of the emotions I was dealing with.
But I haven’t moved forward. I really haven’t moved much at all. Instead of moving toward my goals, I’ve forgotten where I where I wanted to be and now I feel like I’ve just been moving in circles, or not moved at all. I just keep waiting for the right moment, always waiting… and the moment never comes. In fact I want to write a book on procrastination, but I keep putting it off.
But now, with Andy’s passing, I can’t shake the feeling that my time is running out, and for the first time in my life I’m worried. In fact I’ll be completely honest, I’m scared shitless. I have so much I want to accomplish in my life that is undone, and I’ve wasted so much of my time in the past. I have a lot of catching up to do and I’m not sure I’ll be able to.
Now I find myself stuck in a situation that prevents me from working toward my goals, or so I’ve told myself. I’ve used my current circumstances as an excuse to delay things, hence the long gap since my last post on either of my blogs. It’s always easy to find excuses, but these last few months have been easier than most. The Excuse Fairy has made me her bitch.
But this recent punch in the gut has lit a fire under me again, and it’s made me ask myself the question “What am I waiting for?” The perfect time will never come, and I doubt anyone has a time in their lives where there is no adversity and they have nothing to do but work towards their dreams.
And yes, being stuck in a shithole halfway around the world does put me at a disadvantage, but I can’t let it be the reason I put things on hold any longer. After all, there’s no guarantee of how much time I have ahead of me.
So what am I waiting for?
Nothing. I’m not waiting any longer.
In the words of the immortal “Bill” S. Preston Esq. and “Ted” Theodore Logan:
“The best place to be is here… and the best time to be is now. And all’s we can say is…”
So there you have it. Be excellent to each other. Party on Andy.
Mark I am so sorry you’ve lost so many dear friends. I’ve just hit my ‘filthy fifties’ myself and it’s a bit of a shock to the system! My Mother in Law just turned 80 and she’s fit and healthy – all we can do is keep moving forward as you say. My husband is also 53 and he listens to a podcast by a guy called Rob Dial (Mindset Mentor.) It has really helped him set goals and stay focused on what he wants to achieve.
all the best
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