Once again I had it thrown into my face that one should try to get as much out of life as one can, because it can be taken away from you in an instant. Yesterday a friend of mine, the husband of one of my wife's closest friends, passed away at age 54 of a heart attack. Based on today's life spans, that's just way too early for someone to no longer be physically with us, though he did have a heart condition.

He was one of the few people I knew who told me that he felt he had gotten what he wanted out of life, as his one wish had been to travel to New York state and get to walk around New York City, which he did with his then fiancee and my wife in September 2002. I also had the pleasure of staying with him and his wife the following year when I had a work assignment in his hometown, Birmingham, Alabama.

Folks, we never get another chance to do it all again, or to try to do it better. Sometimes we need to take some kind of inspiration from others, no matter what form it's delivered in. So, to Hiram, your message has been received.