Today marks one year since the world lost my Uncle Joe and the heavens gained another angel. Some days, it feels like an eternity since I last saw his smiling face and others seem like it was just yesterday. He was one of those uncles that you didn’t see as often as you would have liked but who always brightened the room when he showed up. But because we didn’t see him more than a few times a year, it’s easy to forget he’s actually gone.. like maybe when I pull up to the next family cookout or holiday, his truck will be parked outside.. and when I say goodbye that time, I’ll hug him just a little tighter and a few seconds longer. Life is so unpredictable and fragile.
Uncle Joe had a gypsy spirit and a carefree soul that I often envy. He lived life on his terms and didn’t care what other people thought. He was one of the few people I know that truly lived.. he lived every single day like it might be his last.. he lived until his last breath.
We often don’t realize how much a person can impact us until they’re gone. How many lessons they teach us and how much our lives are different simply because they were part of it. Since Uncle Joe’s passing, I often think about the way he lived his life and the things he taught me. Some of his simplest lessons have become the most important to me.
1. Don’t take life too seriously.
2. It’s okay not to match your clothes.
3. Live everyday like it is your last.
4. Summer nights aren’t complete without the Red Sox, a campfire and Budweiser. Fall nights aren’t complete without the Patriots, a campfire and Budweiser.
5. Dance like no one is watching.
6. Other people’s opinions of you do not matter.
7. A simple life is all you need to be happy.
8. Always protect those you love.
9. There is always a reason to laugh.
10. Don’t be afraid of anything.