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Passing of a dear friend

Yesterday I learned of the passing of a dear friend of mine at the age of 65. He retired at the age of 62, mandatory retirement, for staff at the World Bank. His plan was to retire at 62, even though he could've retired much earlier with the same benefits that he had accrued.

He always used to say to me that when I turn 62 I will see the world, I will travel to exotic places and I will do everything I haven't been able to do for all the years I've been at the Bank. He had annual physicals every year, very intrusive physicals, to make sure he was healthy in every possible way and he was a health freak. And, in every physical his test results always came up roses.

So, he retired at 62 and the short of it is he was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer immediately thereafter. He fought this terrible disease for three years and the chemotherapy destroyed every vital organ he had. He lost most of the money he saved on his care, the best money could buy, but sadly nothing worked.

When I saw him before he died his regret was not retiring earlier. He told me how much he loved life, that what he still wanted to do needed another 500 years.

And, while this dear friend lived a life no one in my profession would be able to describe as anything but successful, he also told me that he feels like if he died now he would die empty.

Yes, he did accomplish everything at work that defines success, and he did leave a strong legacy, but to use his own words he said to me that in front of God he would definitely plead guilty to living a wasted life.

He also reminded me that life always gives you second chances and that's called tomorrow. But, he went on to say if your dead there is no tomorrow.

In the end, he wasn't angry or disappointed that he got such a bad break, but what he did say was he regretted spending all of those years behind a desk saving his pennies for dreams that never came to pass.

Now that he has passed and his pain and suffering are over, I can summarize his life simply by saying he worked, he worked, he worked and he died. I hope this serves as a life lesson for all of you who read this and that you fully understand the need to live for today and never for tomorrow.

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