I lost a friend this month – more than a friend. Every once in while, we meet someone who is so kind, funny, and inclusive Â that they remind us to be better people just by existing. This woman had a great laugh and smile, but what made her amazing was how she made each person individually complicit in whatever inside joke started the laughing in the first place.
I love to laugh and Iâ€™m infamous for mine. My husband jokes theyâ€™ll never lose me in a crowd because they can hear me for miles. But that innate open heart, the kind that lights up a room full of strangers, thatâ€™s rare. And beautiful. It goes well beyond the expression of joy.
As I joined a crowd in celebrating her life, more than anything I was reminded that thatÂ is a successful life. We want to raise kind, smart, hardworking and happy kids – but we want our kids to feel so confident that they can light every one elseâ€™s torches too. We think a lot about who the adults in our kidsâ€™ lives are; but someone like this friend continues to send ripples of impact into the world even though sheâ€™s not in it anymore.
Sheâ€™ll live on through how she made everyone around her feel, and that inspires me to be a better person to the world at large. So she lit my torch – one among many – and itâ€™s my turn to pass that on. If I do it right, her light will warm our kids and theirs. What a beautiful way to honor her.