Lost Opportunities

I had a lot of ideas about how I wanted to approach today’s post which goes to show how conflicted I’m feeling right now. You see, yesterday I attended the funeral of a friend and former colleague and it really got me thinking.

Now before you ask, no, he wasn’t my best friend. He wasn’t even a friend who I spoke to every week. But he was the type of friend that you can see after a long absence and just pick up where you left off. We had a real rapport and we always had a laugh together.

It would be very easy to slip to bitterness and anger about the accident. A drunk driver hit the vehicle Alex was driving. I don’t know if Alex was killed instantly or if it happened over the course of hours. I don’t want to know. I just pray that he didn’t suffer.

It would be so easy to go down that road…

Instead, I want to talk about the person Alex was. At least the Alex I knew.

He was a man prone to pranks and having fun. He had a really unique perspective on life. A conversation with him always left me shaking my head in wonder at the direction whatever topic we spoke about went. Discussions were always fun.

Alex also loved technology. He was always fiddling with something obscure, usually with an eye to having fun. I remember when he set up a server at his home so he could watch his satellite television from anywhere he happened to be. The lengths he would go were sometimes astounding.

And he loved his family. I know they were never far from his thoughts.

When Alex learned that I was writing a book he immediately hopped on my bandwagon asking when he would get to read it. He once said, “I want to read your book so I can get into your head.” It freaked me out a little but it also made me consider the whole author thing. When we write something it comes from our hearts and our heads. If people read our writing, it will give them a glimpse into our inner selves. We must be prepared for it.

For me, it also means I’ve got to be honest in my writing. To be less will be immediately transparent.

Alex never got to read that story. I wanted it perfect before I shared it. It makes me wonder if perfect is all it’s cracked up to be.

Alex was also one of the first (if not THE first) person to comment on my podcast. He gave me his honest opinion in a helpful critique. It wasn’t all positive but it made me see the warts on the show. I fixed most of those for the next episode and he weighed in once again, more positive this time,  but a few suggestions remained. Those comments helped to get the show to where it is today, a Parsec Finalist.

When I started thinking seriously about podcasting a story, I immediately asked Alex if he would be involved to provide a voice to a character. He didn’t hesitate to agree. As is often the case with great intentions, the story hasn’t seen the light of day yet. I have written the first episode but I never sent the script out. Once again, I wanted it perfect. And now, no matter how perfect it becomes, Alex’s voice will never be heard bringing a character to life.

Alex was a truly unique person, one who inspired me to think, and act, outside the box. He helped me to improve my work and, through his example, take risks I might not have made. His untimely loss has made me realize that I shouldn’t be so content to sit and wait for things to happen. I’ve got to take a more active role.

One lost opportunity is one too many. I find myself wondering how many I have let pass me by. It’s not a good feeling.

To Alex’s family, you have my prayers and heartfelt condolences. Thank you for sharing Alex with me as my friend. I will miss him but I will never forget him.



  1. Nice post Michell. It really resonated for me.

    I recently lost a very dear friend in June to cancer. I wrote in my personal journey of my pain of losing Murray. How brave of you to post this on your blog.

    My lesson learned yet again is to never put off what you can do today, as there may not be a tomorrow.

    Hope the sun comes out soon.



  2. Thank you Linda. Somehow writing about it made the pain a little less and the memories more vivid. It also made me really think and put what’s important into perspective.

  3. Mourning Alex this afternoon, I took to surfing for his wake on the internet. Glad I found your post. Every remembrance signifies to me a commitment to reject the tragedy of his death and affirm the validity of his life.

    The road is henceforth lonelier without him.

  4. I completely agree with you. I’m a better person for having had the priviledge of knowing Alex. The best thing I can do is remember him for who he was and what he did. Those memories will drive me to do more and better.

  5. Thank you Michell for the your rememberings of Alex. I am his sister-in-law and I miss him everyday. I love finding blogs or posts about what Alex meant to others and lets me see the relationships he had with others.

  6. Yes, I think of him often too. I think by remembering him and sharing our experiences with him we are really honoring his memory. I know I won’t ever forget Alex.

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