What’s up my friends…I hope you are enjoying some good weather!  I have had a couple of busy weeks lately.   Last time I wrote, I was headed out to Seattle and Spokane, WA.  I had my biggest speaking engagement to date out there and I am happy to say it was a success.  The organization enjoyed my talk and as always, my hope was to inspire just ONE person in the room (but hopefully more of course!).

I spent this past week in Chicago and Naperville, IL.  It was my first time in Chicago, so I was lucky to spend two days there before driving to my speaking engagement in Naperville for one day.  I went out with my brother and a couple of my friends. We had a great trip and did every tourist activity possible.  We stayed on Michigan Avenue in Chicago which is similar to 5thAvenue in Manhattan or Newbury Street in Boston.  High end stores and restaurants line the streets.  We went to Wrigley Field to see the Cubs play which was a first for all of us.  We went to Cloud Gate also known as The Bean in Millennium Park and also the Lincoln Park Zoo. On our drive to Naperville we stopped at the United Center, where the Chicago Bulls play their home games, to take a picture with the Michael Jordan statue.  This was one of the highlights of the trip for me!

The organization I spoke for was called Young Hearts For Life.  They are an INCREDIBLE organization started by a cardiologist. They have provided over 200,000 FREE EKG screenings for kids in the state of Illinois.  I met the founder of the organization at another conference in Miami and he invited me out to speak at his event.  It was another success and as always inspiring for me to continue to grow In A Heartbeat.

Anyway, the reason I am writing today is about something not so exciting.  In between my trip to Washington and Chicago my family had to bury my grandmother who passed away the day before I left to go out to the West Coast. It was really hard.  My grandmother battled dementia for multiple years. Dementia is such an ugly disease. My grandmother was brilliant.  Her IQ was through the roof.  It didn’t make sense how someone so smart could suffer from such an ugly disease.  It was especially hard on my mom who took care of her mother.  She visited her each and every Sunday and sometimes multiple times during the week.  She watched her mother go through the horrific stages of this ugly disease.

I think anytime there is a death in your family or someone close to you it causes you to reflect on different things in your life.  As I was doing this, I had some regret of not going to see my grandmother more.  I used to visit her quite frequently with mom anytime she went.  Then, about a year and a half ago, my brother and I went and she didn’t even recognize us. It was really hard.  This made me nervous to go back.   The visits became less and less.  I wish I had gone to see her more.  Now, it’s too late.  I know I will never make this mistake again.

We have certain people in our life that are special to us.  Whether they are family or friends, we have to take advantage of the opportunity we have to spend time with them.  We cannot take this opportunity for granted.  The reality of life is that eventually this time will no longer exist. It isn’t a good feeling for me looking back and wishing I took more time to visit my grandmother.

My advice for you is to realize who the special people are in your life.  Make sure you’re making the right amount of time for them.  Make sure you are making them a priority in your life.  Make sure you are taking advantage of the opportunity you have to spend time with them.  When you no longer are able to see your mom, dad, sister, brother, family member, or friend, don’t look back and wish you spent more time.  Look back and know that you spent as much time as possible with them.

You’re amazing!