This past Saturday, I got married.
Everyone always says “It’ll be the best day of your life!” “It will be amazing!” but I remember telling one of my groomsmen on the drive to the venue, “So far, it just feels like a regular day.”
By the end of the night that had completely changed. It felt as though each part of the wedding was better than the last, and at the end of the night I couldn’t believe so many of our friends and family had traveled to a remote venue in Mt. Hood, Oregon to celebrate with us.
It truly was one of the very best days of my life.
The next day I was talking to my wife Tate (ok, that still sounds weird), about one of the most unexpected surprises from the wedding.
All weekend long I found myself constantly thanking people, and telling them how much I appreciated them.
Sure that’s commonplace at a wedding, but I truly meant it every time I said it – and I realized I don’t do it often enough.
My golfing buddy Dan flew in from New York.
My mastermind group of Derek and Clay came up from San Francisco.
Our very own Location Rebel community manager Liz flew out from across the country.
The time and effort and money people spent to come and join us truly showed that people care about us, and the weight of that took a larger toll on me emotionally than I’d expected it would.
There’s something powerful about saying words as simple as “I appreciate you.”
I’d been planning on writing a whole post just about that. But the next morning I received a phone call from a friend who was also at the wedding.
“I almost didn’t make this phone call, because I didn’t want to rain on your parade. But I knew you would want to know. Scott Dinsmore passed away while climbing Mt. Kilamanjaro yesterday.”
The words hit me like a ton of bricks.
For those of you who didn’t know him, Scott was the founder of Live Your Legend.
He was one of those people who truly seemed larger than life. There aren’t enough superlatives in the world to describe his character, sense of adventure, willingness to help others, and to put it simply, passion for life.
However, over the past 24 hours as I’ve read hundreds of Facebook posts and tributes to Scott – I’ve noticed that every one of those people considered him a good friend – even those who only met him briefly or through the internet.
He made you feel like you’re important. His legacy lives on because of the impact he had on other people, and his ability to truly let you know he cared about you even if you only encountered him for a brief time.
Over the past few years I’ve experienced a lot of unexpected loss. Erin died in a plane crash. Katie in an avalanche, Beau in the Pacific Ocean – and now Scott on Kilimanjaro.
Looking back on this, all I can think is “man, I have cool friends!”
They were all freak accidents, but they were all doing something adventurous and inspiring – which should be a reminder for how we should all live our lives – because there’s no telling when it will be over.
Yet, the most important lesson I got from this weekend were three simple words: I appreciate you.
You don’t have to wait for a wedding or sudden loss to tell people close to you, or even the ones you’ve only met in passing, that you care.
Scott cared. As evidenced by the entire internet rallying around him, his wife Chelsea, and their family with heartfelt words.
This weekend I started a new chapter in my life, while simultaneously being reminded of how fragile it can be.
I lost a friend, and gained a lifelong partner.
Scott, I appreciate you. You’ve helped thousands of people live life on their own terms. You’ve taken work similar to mine, and done it on a scale very few will ever achieve. You will be missed, but never forgotten, and your legend will continue to live on.
Tate, I can’t wait to begin this next chapter with you. As I said on Saturday, I promise never to let our sense of wonder and adventure fade away. I appreciate you and the life we’ve continued to build.
It’s been an intense week, but one that I know will shape how I approach the rest of my life.
And to you, the reader, I guess there’s just one thing left to say.
I appreciate you.