Last week, toward the end of one of my walks, I called to speak with my treasured friend, Mark.
Mark lives in San Diego, so an 8 AM call is 5 AM in his area.
My initial call went directly to voicemail. Per usual, I left no message.
Later on I called again. Same result.
Over the next few days I made umpteen calls – all of which went to voice mail immediately.
Now that has never happened before, so I began to get concerned. I continued to call all the numbers I had for Mark, all to no avail.
At 11:38 PM on Monday, after waving goodbye to a friend who was with me for a 3-mile copywriting jaunt, I went in the house and immediately received a text from Mark.
“Ah,” I sighed. “I finally hear from Sasquatch. I wonder how he’s doing.”
I opened the text and the opening words communicated that the sender was someone else.
Twas Mark’s sister, instead.
The news she gave me sent shockwaves through my central nervous system.
Mark was no longer playing Sasquatch in San Diego.
The man who survived not just one, but TWO collisions with 18-wheeler semi-trucks was gone.
I called Mark’s sister and she gave me the details. I started texting everyone I coach who knew Mark on a personal level from our meetings.
Everyone was in shock.
I’m not sure how I slept through the night. The next morning I got up and walked another three miles, during which time I openly sobbed.
Oftentimes, over the years, I’d be talking to Mark as I walked, going over my latest musings and writings, my most recent ideas and breakthroughs.
In fact, when I kept calling Mark all last week, it was to read him the copy I was going to put up about my forthcoming seminar – which HE WOULD BE ATTENDING – as he never missed a Furey seminar, going all the way back to 2005.
Today, as I walk through my home I look at the chair Mark used to plop into when I’d have him over for discussions on tai chi and other martial and fitness disciplines.
Mark had a pair of ears that were always there for me or anyone else.
Each summer I’d visit San Diego, in part because I love the city, but most importantly because I wanted to have a few hours in splendid communication with Mark – as we walked around Gas Lamp district, enjoyed a grass-fed burger, followed by a chewable cigar and a ship-load of laughs.
So long Mark Ferris, my truly treasured friend, the man I dubbed the “Sasquatch from SoCal.” Your presence on this Earth meant the world to me. Rest safely and in peace.
I’ll be thinking of you as I walk.
P.S. Life can be unpredictable – and often when you least expect it. That’s precisely why I believe in living life to the FULL – with gusto and enthusiasm. That’s exactly why I am having a seminar in February that will teach you how to leave your thumbprint on the world, how to achieve goals and dreams that matter to you and your family.