I am on my annual summer vacation. And as ever I am working hard to not work hard. All of my family is with me now – my daughter just arrived this weekend. And we are set fair with a great weather forecast…although we certainly don’t need sunshine to enjoy ourselves…nice weather always helps.
Last week my brother, his wife and two children stayed with us…we all had so much fun together. And it was wonderful to have chance to spend time with my brother…just because we could.
We have also met up with friends…we have been coming to the same place for a number of years now…we have friends we know as well as anyone else…special friends we only ever meet each summer.
Friends and family…and not having to work every day…a powerful combination for a relaxing and recharging vacation. Relaxing is good. Recharging is essential. I always find I come back from vacation energised and ready to go…
But I also realised that someone is missing this year. My friend Ron. Ron – who has been a staple part of our summers for some ten years. Ron – who chose this summer to take a tour of major European cities. This year I realised how much I really appreciate Ron.
In truth it surprised me how much I missed Ron not being around. Not that I begrudge in any way him and his wife from what will be an amazing European summer. No I miss Ron simply because of who he is, and what he meant to me (and how much he helped my relaxation and recharging).
Ron was always on his deck. His front deck overlooking main beach…or rear deck overlooking his back yard. He always smiled when he saw you, followed by a cheerful ‘beautiful morning’ (or afternoon or evening). He was always cheerful and it was always beautiful. You couldn’t help but feel positive and respond positively. No matter how cheerful (or not) you felt and beautiful (or not) your day was.
I miss Ron and I miss that greeting. And I also miss the information…the observations…or the gifts Ron always offered.
The first time I spoke to Ron was one afternoon when he greeted me as I walked past his deck. In return I commented on the wonderful smell coming from inside his kitchen. Ten minutes later he had found me with a bowl of sauce his wife had been cooking…as a gift! Over the years Ron has given me sauces, paper, beer, coffee, books, eggs, vegetables and great advice. You can’t help but feel good.
I miss hearing from Ron what he knows and more importantly what he understands. About the sunset, politics, family, travel, space stations, people, food, friendship, work…and life. The big things in life and the little things. Things that make a difference and things that don’t.
I realise Ron is just one of those people who I look out for and who I listen to. Someone who says things and does things that make me feel good…someone who says things that make me wonder and believe…things that encourage me to think about different things and to think differently.
And yet again – even in his absence – Ron has made me think differently. I have realised that Ron is an inspiration to me. He doesn’t know that of course and – better yet – he is not even trying to be that person (for me or for anyone else). He is just being himself…for me and for anyone else he comes across or who come across him.
We all need people in our lives like Ron.