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Reconcile before day of reckoning

One of my favorite quotes is from “Breaker Morant,” a 1980s film about the Boer War in South Africa at the turn of the 20th century. In it, one of the main characters says to another, “Live each day as if it were your last. One day you’re sure to be right.” I thought about that on Sunday after talking to a man I’ll call Joe. A mutual friend of ours died of cancer last month, and we were talking about what a terrific woman she was. On top of being longtime friends, Joe had gone into business with our recently deceased friend, whom I’ll call Sarah. Unfortunately, through the years, their business dealings turned sour, resulting in hurt feelings on both sides – feelings that were never quite resolved.That was, until Joe and his wife received a handwritten note from Sarah in February, just weeks before Sarah’s death. In it, she thanked the couple for everything they had done for her.Thinking about the note, Joe said how much he appreciated Sarah writing to him. “It took a lot for her to do that,” he said.And when Sarah died, she left instructions on who she wanted to speak at her memorial. One speaker was one of her best friends with whom she’d battled cancer. The second was the head of her hospice team. Joe was the third.On Sunday, Joe said that the way Sarah handled her unfinished business could show us all a lot about how we can live our lives. He said as friends, their relationship was strong and solid, but as business partners, their feelings towards each other had deteriorated somewhat. All that changed when Sarah reached out, in those weeks before she died, because despite their miscommunication, what was most important was that, plain and simple, they cared about one another. After our talk, Joe gave me a big bear hug, and I felt better all day. This morning, as I thought about Sarah writing that note to Joe, I thought about that “Breaker Morant” quote, and I wondered if there was anyone in the world that I needed to write a note to – anyone who might have hurt me or whom I might have hurt that could use a good clearing out of ill feelings. Amazingly enough, I only have one – oh, well, let’s make that two – people to whom I need to write a little note. We don’t need to be best friends, but we also don’t need to walk around with traces of bitterness and hurt about each other. And I don’t plan on dying anytime soon, but like the quote goes, it’s a good idea to live each day as if it were your last. Carrie Click is the editor and general manager of The Citizen Telegram in Rifle, and the western Garfield County bureau editor of the Post Independent. If she needs to write you a note, too, let her know (you know, she might be oblivious). You can reach Carrie at (970)625-3245, ext. 101, cclick@citizentelegram.com.


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