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Sunday, May 23, 2010

What I learned from Colleen

Think about others first, as often as possible.
Colleen was the most generous person I have ever known. Most of you
know this better than I do. In both big ways and little ways she
thought of others first. I know that in some cases she was taken
advantage of by those who should have appreciated her the most.
However, she more often made a new life-long friend.

It is one thing to tell the people you love that you love them, it is
far more meaningful to tell everyone you meet how much you love that
person and how proud of him you are.
Whenever I would meet a friend of Colleen's for the first time, I
would hear about how Colleen was so proud of me. This was true of all
of the staff at the hospital as well.

Hug a cat once a day.
Colleen loved her animals and they gave her comfort. Some days they
gave her a reason to keep fighting as long as she did.

If you are both klutzy you never get mad at the other for what they
drop or break.
When we were first dating I accidentally cleared off the top of the
refrigerator. This meant several glass and ceramic casserole dishes
went flying to the ground. In that destruction she was only worried
about whether or not I was hurt. She understood.

Expect the best out of people and forgive them of their worst; forgive
but never forget.
Colleen's ability to forgive always amazed me.

Never stop learning.
Even while bed ridden Colleen found ways to improve her mind. She
read, played games to keep her mind going, and even took a
correspondence class.

Leave your loved ones with important memories not important things.
All of the gifts Colleen ever gave me pale in comparison to the
memories of the places we went, the laughs we shared, and the love we
had.