Ryan Donnelly's Blog

Live It. RIP DP and Pop-pop

It’s 3:11am on July 25, 2012. It’s been a very rough day. I went to visit my Pop-pop (grandfather) at hospice. He has been battling Alzheimer’s for quite some time now. As I looked at him laying in his bed I had many fond memories of this man come to mind. It made a sad experience much easier. I stayed for about an hour and then had to be on my way for a wake. A good buddy of mine, passed away this week. Went to pay my respects and say goodbye. Saw how many peoples lives he had touched. The line was out the door and that made me smile. Derek was the type of guy that just made you smile. He had a force of energy that was comforting and fun. I remember back in 2005 when I came home from the Navy and hadn’t seen or talked to him in about a year. He came up to me in a bar and put his arm around my shoulder and we started dancing. It was like no matter how much time you had apart, you always picked up where you left off. It was a great experience having him in my life and I will miss him. After paying my respects I headed home and ate dinner that my girlfriend Toula cooked for me. My phone was lit up, I forgot I had it on silent for the wake. I had 3 text messages and two voicemails. My Pop-pop had passed. He let go and became free.

Since the time I realized I was worth fighting for and wanted to live, I have had this thirst for life. People often say that life is too short, or that we don’t have much time here and we better make the best of it. Times like these are a punch in the gut. I want people to really think about life in general. To not let this feeling fade. When it’s all said and done at the end of the day and you lay your head to rest, did you give the day everything you had? Did you accomplish what you set out to do? Did you lift people up or did you put them down?

I get questions and people ask me advice all the time about how I changed my life. It’s pretty simple, I changed the way I thought about life. I stopped caring about materials and what people thought of me. I woke in the morning and was truly grateful to be here. You don’t have to go through what I did to live an epic life, you just need to change your perspective. Be honest with yourself day in and day out. When people talk badly about you remember it’s none of your business what they think of you. Live life with integrity. Be honest no matter how ugly it is. And the most important thing I have ever learned is to lend a hand. We are all connected on this planet. Our energies intertwine every day. When you act in a selfless manner and put someone besides yourself first, you are living life. You are making a difference as small as it may seem to you at the time, may be what keeps that person here. Never pass up the opportunity to be someones rock.

Live your life now. Don’t hold back anything. Rest Easy Derek Percy, I will miss you, your vibe, thirst for life and the positive talks we had about life. And to Pop-pop, I aspire to be half the man you were. Respect and Love gentlemen.

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