One of my best friends passed away yesterday after a long battle with cancer.
His name is Wynn Etter.
I met Wynn when he was sponsor for the Dale Carnegie Courses in Cherry Hill, NJ. Over the years I met the most wonderful people through Wynn and was honored when he asked me to teach the Dale Carnegie Course. I cannot imagine what my life would have been like for me without calling this man my friend.
The loss of a friend sometimes occurs when they are alive but not available for a relationship. But in this case, Wynn was a mentor and an inspiration very much involved in my life.
When I did research for my book, he would pack up tons of motivational literature and ship it to me. He was thanked in the book’s dedication.
He used to call me “Tiger” – an enthusiastic reminder to go after what I desired in life.
A positive man who as he endured chemotherapy never uttered a negative word even as his disease progressed.
I have a fond memory of Wynn pulling up to tollbooths that linked southern New Jersey bridges to nearby Philadelphia and anonymously paying the toll for the car behind him. The grateful recipient of his random kindness would step on it and pull next to his car at the top of the bridge and wave their thanks.
It’s hard to contemplate living without the benefit of people like Wynn. But I have a consolation plan.
If I can take just one of his many good qualities and make it mine, he will live on through me. And there is a long list to choose from.
There is a beginning, middle and end to life but the good qualities of friends can live on in their name through others.
“What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us” – Helen Keller
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