Monday, September 29, 2008

The Things Learned

"You don't know how much you could touch a person's life by simply sticking out your hand and saying hello."

This was said by Mark Bingham after one of his friends questioned why he would walk up to complete strangers and introduce himself.

This was one of many echos that was left behind when Mark Bingham passed away on United Flight 93. These echos still ring loud in clear through his friends who celebrate his life.

I had the honor of joining his friends this year as they reflected about their friend while celebrating his life.

This celebration wasn't one of tears and sadness. It was one of laughter, a few drinks and a lot of stories.

I could see his best friend's eyes light up as he talked about the time he spent with Mark. I could hear it in their voices as they spoke. I could hear the love they still hold for him and I could see how much they all care for each other.
This small, tight group of people is a perfect example of what true friendship is all about.

As I walked away from my new found friends I am overwhelmed at how much I've come to learn from a man I never met.

I've learned about the strength inside of me.

I've learned about pride and how to hold my head up high.

I've learned how to be me for the first time in my life.

But I now realize I learned something so important, not from Mark, but from his friends.

I learned about how important it is to show your friends and the ones you love how you feel about them.

I learned how important it is to celebrate your friends while they're still with us.

I also learned from meeting these new friends that sticking your hand out to say hello does indeed touch people's lives and this is something I promise I will continue to do.

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