Tonight I went to the funeral home for the viewing of a school friend. I had been Ronnie's neighbor for all of our lives and we had attended the same schools all the way to graduation.
When we were 2 or 3, Ronnie's family was in a car accident that left him a paraplegic. But, as I was telling my mom tonight, we never paid attention to the wheelchair. Ronnie's personality was bigger than what we saw when we looked at him. He was nice, friendly, funny and always upbeat. I know he had hard days and probably had more to complain about than most of us, but I don't remember him using his different abilities to gain sympathy. He was just one of the kids.
In high school I decided to pursue a career in the health field and took some of the classes related to that. Ronnie was in those classes with me because he wanted to be a doctor. I always thought that was an awesome goal. Like me, his goals changed and he had been pursuing a degree in information systems. He didn't let his disability affect what he wanted to do with his life and I find that admirable.
More recently, Ronnie had fought cancer. He had a bone marrow transplant and seemed to be doing well. Then all of a sudden, he had complications from pneumonia and he passed.
Seeing someone your age, that you grew up with, in a casket is hard to take in. It's a big reminder that we should live each day as though it's our last. We should tell those that we love what they mean to us. Live your life with meaning. Make others smile. Live so that others will say that you were an inspiration, just as I heard so many say about Ronnie tonight.
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