We spent a couple of hours talking about life's difficulties, looking at pathways ahead. This time of year is a great opportunity for reflection and some positive forecasting, when a lot of other maddening pressures are off to the sidelines.
After our coffee session concluded, I came across this story of 18-year-old Ben Breedlove. This young lad from Texas posted a couple of videos online around a week ago. Ben was well aware of his serious heart condition he'd had from birth, that was eventually going to take his life. Ben died on Christmas night from a heart attack.
His amazing video message was created silently with handwritten notes to tell his story, just a few days before he passed away.
"Kieran Miles inspired me to do this," Ben posted. "Just thought I should share my story to the rest of the world."
He had a unique condition: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, where one part of the heart is thicker than the others, making it difficult for blood to circulate.
There's a moving part in his video story where he explains when he was just four years old. Breedlove described the moment...
- "There was this big bright light above me ... I couldn't make out what is was because it was so bright. I told my mom, 'Look at the bright light' and pointed up. She said she didn't see anything. There were no lights on in this hall. I couldn't take my eyes off it.
And I couldn't help but smile. I had no worries at all, like nothing else in the world mattered.
I cannot even begin to describe the peace, how peaceful it was," he wrote. "I will NEVER forget that feeling or that day."
It's a truly beautiful and moving tale, told as only a young person encapsulated in online social media could.
Stories like Ben's put life's dramas into great clarity and utter perspective. Love and nurture the moment and those important to you.