My friend Scott Mundell moved on a couple days ago. He shuffled off this mortal coil, bound for better and more interesting places. He was 32.
I won't kid you. I'm devastated. It's not fair, I tell you. A genuinely good man like Scott battles cancer, smiling, courageous to the end, while life's assorted scoundrels live to be bitter old men, leaving a trail of broken dreams in their wake. No, I say, it is not fair.
But let's talk about that trail of life for a moment, my friends. Let's pull up a chair, sit around the fire, and rather than mourn the loss of our friend Scott, which is great, let's celebrate the joy of that life, and be thankful that we knew him, and were lucky enough to spend time with him, in our strange wandering journeys through this great mystery we call Life.
What is it that separates some people from the pack? What makes you say to yourself, I want that guy or gal to be my friend? What special light shines in some people's eyes, echoes in their words, and reverberates in your soul when you're in their presence? Is it an essential goodness, a magnetic charm, or just good karma? How can you define that moment when you know, when you just know, that this man, and not this one, would walk to the ends of the Earth and back if he knew it would help you out?
What makes some people so special?
Scott was one of the most unselfish people I've encountered in my short life. He could be starving yet still give you half a sandwich (well, if you knew Scott, maybe that's a bad example...he'd leave you a pizza crust, at least!). He never really had much in the way of the material world, nor did he need it, but what he did have he'd willingly share.
Scott was always there to lend a hand. He gave you his spirit, his fire, and his friendship. He was one of the few who you could count on to say what he thought and mean what he said. He was a man, who, when he called you his brother, he meant it, in every sense of the word.
He was a friend, pure and true.
You're lucky if you can find one or two in life. I've been blessed in that respect. So was Scott. I think most people that spent time with him were touched by the genuine joy and zest for life he held within. He was the personification of fearless; the epitome of courage; and the definition of loyalty.
He was, perhaps without knowing it, the standard to which lesser men compare themselves and always find themselves lacking. For what he had came from within. It wasn't a learned skill, a new trick, or an act.
Scott Mundell was the real deal.
I could go on, but I've said everything you need to know. Every day you live is another day to be enjoyed, to be respected, and to be loved. It's a day to remember a friend.
I'll leave you with this, however. As I write this, which I never wanted to but now must, I can see Scott smiling at me, with that mischevious look in his eyes. I don't know where he is, or what he's doing, or who he's with. But he's there. And he's just fine.
"That's right, buddy," he says.
No worries, my brother.
Check out the Scott Mundell Lifeguard Memorial Site, put together by Scotty D in Delray.