New Year’s Perspective: Holly’s Challenge 2

Where on earth do I begin after being silent for so long?

I guess I should begin by wishing everyone a Happy New Year, seeing as it is the mandatory greeting during the month of January.

Next, I should admit that I’ve struggled with which topic to launch 2018. So many burning topics… so many possible stances to take… so many people to potentially anger. So many nasty comments and emails just waiting to blast my opinion or position on any given topic.

So should this be about how freedom of speech has reached repulsive levels of disrespect, discrimination, and plain old “dissing”?


I’m going to play the Switzerland card—I’m staying neutral for my first blog of the year.

Today, I’ve decided to reflect upon a topic I’ve written about before—perspective.

I’ve written about a few versions of perspective (stresslife’s general hiccupstreating others with respectjob/career, and country), but I think it’s a topic that never gets old, and always needs to be revisited.

Two weeks ago, I received an email from a retired colleague who informed me of the passing of another colleague. A man who was also retired, but had only taste-tested that life for two years or so. We’re not talking about a man in his seventies… but a man who was only in his fifties.

<Insert kick to the stomach.>

That man, (who I’ll call Denny), was a card. His laugh was infectious, his friendships true, his approach… passionate. Three years ago, out of the blue, I received a large gift basket at my home. It was from Denny. His card encouraged me to focus on my passion—writing. We were both employed by the same company, so he was giving me permission to leave that behind and focus on what made my palms sweat. I cherished that card, even though one grammatical error forced me to read it three times before I fully grasped the depth of his message. Denny would have laughed his ass off, had I ever told him that after reading it for the second time, I turned to my husband and said, “I think Denny was drunk when he wrote this.”

Good-bye, sweet Denny. Since I know you left many broken hearts behind, I can sincerely say, “Job well done!”

My goal is that, I too, can leave as many broken hearts behind as you have.

Death of an acquaintance or loved one will surely cause most people to stop, take a breath, and re-evaluate their life. Denny’s passing certainly did that. I’ve spent the past couple weeks in a state of… “meh” … Today though, my choice of message was prompted by a beautiful young woman by the name of Holly.

Holly: 27 years-old, blond hair, blue eyes, vibrant. Gone.

Holly, who is three years older than my daughter, has left a trail of broken hearts behind her too. I am still trying to compute how I would process the loss of my child as such a young age. I simply can’t.

Many of you may have read about Holly. Holly Butcher would have turned 28 this year, but that wasn’t in the cards she was dealt. Before Holly left this place, she wrote us all a letter—a letter about perspective. If you haven’t already, I hope you will take the time to read Holly’s words.

Death is inevitable, but living a dead life is not.

In honour of Denny, Holly, and everyone who has left this spinning rock too soon, my hope is that you make an effort to:

  • Embrace your loved ones a little more.
  • Take less selfies.
  • Breathe in your lover.
  • Check social media less.
  • Cherish (Madonna is singing that in the background as I write this, so I feel that her point is quite timely.)
  • Get on your hands and knees and love up your pets. Despite your horrible human habits, they love your dumb ass unconditionally!
  • Stop focusing on “going viral.”
  • Focus on making a difference… anonymously.

Focus on what is really important—living life out loud.

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