On Tuesday I received word that a dear friend had died. I was stunned, in shock, and heartbroken. He was only 43, but he had lived a full life. I won’t say he lived a life without regret. Having fought the demons that accompany one who suffered abuse at a young age, fought addiction, and illness brought on from poor choices, he had some regrets. But, I have never known anyone who lived what life he had to the fullest, looking for ways to help others, bring people happiness, and searching for the best in every moment.
Here is a post from Marc’s Facebook age from just one week ago,
“Laughter is the best medicine, or so they say. However I find tacos and re-dsigning a friends room to be good for the heart and the soul. Call me crazy, but there is something very rewarding about leaving something better than you found it…. that goes for people too.”
Wow, when I read that again, this morning, it just hit me hard. That really was how he thought , leaving something or someone better than he found it. Marc never passed a homeless person without stopping. He would talk with them, find out their story and what brought them to the streets. He would see what he could do to help – many times giving all the money in his wallet. Or he would go buy a bag of groceries, a meal from a fast food chain, and once he bought a small portable radio so the guy could listen to the radio – because that homeless person said he missed being able to listen to baseball games on the radio. Yep, that was Marc. You see, he knew that but for the grace of God, he could have been homeless too.
I won’t say Marc was always up and happy. He had some very low moments as well. As I said, he fought his demons. Battling years of a mental illness, he had his ups and downs, nearly losing his life when he found himself at his lowest. I wrote about that HERE when God’s miracle brought him out of a coma and, I believe, God healed him of the hopelessness in Marc’s life. God answered the prayers of many, and Marc found his hope and joy for life again.
We all have times in our life when things are not going “our way”. We question God, we wonder what our purpose is, and God’s will for our life. Marc had those struggles. But, I think in the end, he knew his purpose. It was to help others. He inspired so many to do the same. Within the last year, he created Spoon for Life. His personal business where he handcrafted unique jewelry using antique spoons. Why spoons? The spoon represented feeding the homeless. The proceeds from the jewelry were used to feed people who needed a meal. When you bought a piece of jewelry Marc had an expectation that the bearer of the jewelry was charged with “paying it forward”. You were to do something for someone else and let others know about it. So you could inspire others to do the same.
More words from Marc,
“Sometimes something as little as a phone call, giving someone a hug, saying “I love you”, apologizing when your wrong, or giving someone a Spoon for Life piece with some meaningful wording on it can make a huge impact on someone.
And if we all did these thing more often, this world would be a far better place”.
In the end, Marc’s heart gave out. Probably many years of “living life to the fullest”. I like to think his his heart was so full and he had given ALL his heart had to give to all of us – his friends, his family, his children, complete stranger he met off the street…. his heart had no more it could give.
Yes, if he could, he would tell you live a life without regret. Touch other people and impact the world making it a better place for everyone. I would add, make sure that life is also one pleasing to God. I know Marc loved God and knew Jesus as his savoir. I am most grateful for that.
He will me missed…
One final word from my friend,
“Peace, love, joy, serenity, material things, days on earth, and pretty much everything of any real importance.
Don’t take what you have for granted cuz it could vanish overnight. Cherish it, share it, and make the most of it.”
- Marc Leonard