this is what my cousin’s friends said about him yesterday:  he lived an intentional life.

couldn’t be more true.

I knew this.  and I didn’t know it.

he was so curious.  about everything!  and loved a good debate.

I still remember driving him back to my apartment near UCI in 1993.  after catching a movie together in Fashion Island.   we had preceded the movie with all his goings-on up until that date.  I was in awe.  this is someone who knows what he wants.  I remember thinking, if only I could be that clear!  this guy is going to have one heck of a life!

on the drive back he was curious about the kind of man I wanted to marry.


who I would marry?

hmmm…well if I can have my choice…here is the list of 20 things that I want.  intelligence and a fantastic sense of humor at the top of the list.  followed by kind, caring, dark hair, light eyes…loyal…and a self-made man.”  the list went on.  and on.

turns out he had spent that summer deconstructing this question about his future wife with his best friend as they drove 12K miles around the US.

after I had finished prattling off my list, quite proud of it.  we were caught at a light.  and I asked him, “what do you want?”  

“I want someone who is smart and confident…that’s it.  I can make myself laugh and all that other stuff is ancillary to who a person really is.”

“oh,” I said followed by “really, that’s it?”

sheepish at this point for how self-absorbed and selfish I must have sounded.  embarrassed.

“yep, that’s it,” he replied and leaned back in his passenger seat.


that really stuck with me.  that was almost 20 years ago!  and I still remember what I was wearing.

and what we talked about pre-movie and post-movie.

I discovered he was just like me.  huh.  though, he was unequivocally smarter!  ha!  also remember that his brother called that afternoon.  he had just been admitted to Yale.  uh huh.

wow.  I remember still thinking as he ran into a dead battery in his Honda after we got to my place, this guy really knows what he wants.  and how cool is that?  how do I get some of that?  but was too shy to ask.

I wish I had asked.  I really do.

goodbye, D.

you will be missed.  but your memory will live on…

I wanted to share this tale yesterday at your memorial.  but I was again too shy.  insecure.  too many doctors in the gathering.  and just when I was about to step forward, the facilitator called time.

you have taught me what being a genuine human is all about…and so this one is for you, my friend…you will be an inspiration to push myself towards the things that I know, in my soul, I want to do to help and lean into what is.

because in the end, it’s all a matter of how we live our daily lives…God took you away, because you had figured it out…and you had so much to teach the rest of us, which you did while you were here for a brief 39 years.


ps.  your wife said to my hub last night, how devastated you were by my diagnosis.  knowing what I would have to endure in the years to come.  thx, man.  I wish we could have talked about it more…

pps.  no regrets.  turns out it is better to do than not do.

ppps.  also turns out, I ended up with the hub that I really wanted…and he loved you too… xo


what will you do to live an intentional life??  would genuinely love to hear!


4 thoughts on “intentional.

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