Our friend Kim Stemple passed away over the weekend. There are a number of tributes to her on the books of faces and beyond. All are well done. Today while I read a lot of them I thought to myself “Why do we wait until someone is gone to tell them how much they meant to us? To our communities? To the world?” Wouldn’t it be a lot better to tell people they are loved. That their impact matters. That they inspire us? Novel idea, I know.
The more I thought about it, the more a list of people came to mind. But not the most obvious, already visible people. The quiet and understated impact just as much and probably more so than the outwardly vocal. They are the rocks of our relationships, the ones that are always there. They are many times overlooked though their ever stable keel keeps us plowing forward without too much heel.
They are also the friends from elementary school, reconnected via the internet, that flood our memory with growing up. Of nostalgia, first crushes, of faded pictures and lunch room grab ass and regrettable behaviors.
These are the people of our lives who we should think about celebrating before they’re gone. If anyone is worth it, then everyone is.
I get it. We are inspired by those who battle with dignity and verve. Who suck the leftover marrow out of the bones we leave untouched. Who seemingly don’t have bad days. Who are on their worst days what we long to be on any day. If that’s who you start with, great. Just don’t forget the little guys.
We live in a world where we celebrate larger than life. I guess I’m just reminding us that for each giant hero there’s 100 “smaller than life” heroes that also deserve it.
Let’s not wait until they are gone to scream from the rafters.
These hugs and high fives are for you Kim.