Saturday morning started as it often does for me, with a long run. I completed my 13.5 miles at a moderate pace, running through a winter wonderland in the south towns of Western New York.
Then, I said goodbye to a colleague. The funeral mass for Jim Kelley, former Buffalo News employee, journalist and hockey writer extraordinaire, was held in South Buffalo. It was where Kelly grew up, hometown roots he never forgot, and the morning was fitting for a South Buffalo native complete with snow and bagpipes.
His advice echoed in my head all day: Don’t write what you think. Write what you know.
And I wondered if maybe part of the lesson for me was that I might know more than I give myself credit for.
Write what you know. Be tough but fair. Treat everyone with respect. Share your life with your family — both those to whom you were born related and those with whom you created a familial bond.
Mostly, what I’ve learned from friends who have passed away too recently and too soon, is to enjoy living life. Live fully and love completely — and do so by whatever definition you decide, regardless of what others might frame for you.
Appropriately, my first entry in my new venture — a blog for TRYChips — was about opportunity. Opportunity exists for us every day, in all kinds of ways. We tend to only see the big events. We look at someone like Jim Kelley and see a hall of fame hockey writer, a big-time veteran. But, as his daughter said in her eulogy today, Jim would say his hall of fame induction and $2 would get you a cup of coffee.
It’s the little things that tend to matter most though we often overlook or minimize then. That’s a life lesson to ponder the rest of the weekend.