Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Bigger Than Life

This week a friend and former colleague died at his home in Belize, a heart attack the result of running out of blood pressure medication. It's hard to explain this guy, but I think my brother Clay summed it up perfectly when he said he left everything on the field. 

He was like a caricature, but not. That's the only way I can explain it. When I first met him, and until we no longer worked together, he was the top selling salesperson globally for this tech company. His territory was Latin America and the Caribbean. Fluent in Spanish and an avid sailor, he was a natural fit for the job. 

At the time, I worked in international marketing--everything outside the US and Canada. It was actually way more fun than US and Canada and way more Wild, Wild, West. I can't talk about it all, because within our group we had what's known as "the Cone of Silence." We didn't talk about what happened in Brazil or Mexico, because it never happened.

The news of our friend's death really hit me. Hypothetically we know that no one here gets out alive. But in the real world, it can be shocking. As I said, and my brother and other close friends echoed, there are some people who are so larger than life, it doesn't seem like they can actually die.  

But he did. And what is real or made up about him, we will hopefully never know for sure.  Here's what I do know: those ridiculous biking shorts that he wore sailing, his love of all things on the water, Red Stripe beer, sipping caipirinhas at the Maksoud in Sao Paulo, his loud silly laugh and big smile, he was a lover of women and loved in return. Is there anything more?

He lived large and that is a lesson to us all. Seize the day because our days are numbered. Or as his friend John said, "Time has us all, so enjoy every day."


  1. Nice Job Beck. He was a memroable sole that thrived on exceeding expectations and did. I have a favorite saying that applies to Phil, you ) and your family, Jim, Sue and Clay) - " I love you more today than yesterday but not as much as tomorrow". Do it today because tomorrow may never get here. Phil invited us to come to Belize to stay awhile a few months ago but plans changed and could not go. I sorrow that I did not get to see him again before he died. Just too young and full of it - everything that is. I loved him as a human being and many others he touched will remember him longer than we will all be here.

    love you too Beck,