Live each day to your best potential

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 GREC# 169695

I had picked a quote and started a post, but then life happened and changed my mind and direction for the quote I decided to write about and the man I decided to write about. Mid morning on Christmas I was texting with my cousin Keith.  I sent him a Cooper photo (of Cooper sitting in his high chair).  Keith's last text to me that day was "Hahaha, feed me" in reply to the photo of Cooper.  It would in fact be his last text to me ever.  

I am from a large family on both parents sides.  My mom has three sisters and two brothers and my daddy has three brothers and one sister. So in the cousin department my brother and I were blessed.... 22 times.  10 on my mom's side and 12 on our dad's.

On my Mom's side there are Melvin, Terri, Dan and Russell (deceased), Amanda, Christopher (deceased) and Hillary, Ryan (deceased), Tye and Caleb.  So losing a first cousin wasn't new to me asI'd lost three on my mom's side.

On my Dad's side I was the oldest... then my Matt and Spence, then Keith (now deceased) Anita, Matthew, Shonda, Maggie, Chris, Shelly, Ashely, Jonathan and Joshua.

The afternoon of the 26th is when we got the call.  Keith was young, not but 47. It was really unbelievable that one day I was having a conversation and the next he was gone. And while I'm sad for me and my loss of having Keith in my life... what I will remember are the good times, the good things and his absolute love of life.  I wish I could share all the two hours of stories his friends and family told at his service. The hundreds of friends who came to show their love for Keith.  Over and over people told stories of how Keith had helped them out, how he always not only showed he loved his friends, but also told us every time we parted.  So the quote that inspires me is one that is the secret to life.  Live every moment as if it could be your last.  It just might be.  We have each moment in life but once. Live it to the fullest. Tell your friends and family how much you care every time you talk or see them.  When I stood up to tell my Keith story at his service I ended with saying that everyone in the room should take a lesson from him and live their best life and always be kind and always remember to say I love you. Keith lived his life so big and so full and so fun. Do the same.

And if you have 4 minutes, take a look at this amazing tribute from a few of his friends. He was a dad, a granddad, a son, a brother, a mechanic, a racer, a civil service worker and in the Army Reserves.  he touched a lot of lives.  The tribute is from his racing family. 

 

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Rainmaker
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Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667 (MT), 914-419-0270 (NY), Broker in NY with Grand Lux Realty and in MT with (coming soon!) - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I am so sorry for your loss; he was obviously loved, and will be missed, by many. I totally agree with the quote; we never know when our time will be up.

Jan 02, 2019 04:29 AM #12
Rainmaker
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Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Tammy - we never know so we must savor every moment.  I am glad you savored yours and sorry for your loss.

Jan 02, 2019 05:52 AM #13
Rainmaker
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Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Tammy Lankford, 

I'm so very sorry for your loss as I am sure you will miss your cousin Keith. You have many fond memories and its obvious he made a big impact on every-ones life. Good take away for sure..live each moment to its fullest as no one promises you tomorrow. You chose a perfect quote.

Jan 02, 2019 06:11 AM #14
Rainmaker
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Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Living the opposite of your post title should frighten everyone.....

Jan 02, 2019 06:49 AM #15
Rainmaker
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Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Eulogies are tough assignments...I did my Dad's and it sounds like you did an outstanding job....and know that he appreciated it and will be with you in spirit all the days of your life.

Jan 02, 2019 06:53 AM #16
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

It sounds as though Keith definitely lived life to the fullest - as a good person too, Tammy. I loved reading the tribute and know how you must miss him. I'm praying for strength and peace for you and your wonderful family. 

Hugs from Charlotte...

Jan 02, 2019 08:41 AM #18
Rainmaker
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Michael Eisenberg
eXp Realty - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Real Estate Guy

Sorry for your loss. Losing a loved one makes us realize just how fragile life is.

Jan 02, 2019 11:36 AM #19
Ambassador
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Lynn B. Friedman thank you.  I keep waiting for the pain to lessen a bit so I can move forward as I know he would want me too, but it's still so fresh right now.

Kat Palmiotti without a doubt people who knew him loved him

Grant Schneider yes those simple text exchanges the day prior mean so much to me now

Jan 02, 2019 12:48 PM #20
Ambassador
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR he did leave some big shoes to fill

Richie Alan Naggar that it should

Sally K. & David L. Hanson it was easy to talk about Keith in a positive and uplifting way because that's who he was to us.

Jan 02, 2019 12:50 PM #21
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Debe Maxwell, CRS I'm stuck on the angry at the moment.  Seems to unfair to have lost 4 of 22 cousins and 3 of 10 nieces and nephews.  I knowthe anger will pass and I'll remain faithful and feel comfort, but it's a process and I'm just not there yet so I appreciate all the love and prayers I'm feeling from friends.

Michael Eisenberg it truly does.

 

Jan 02, 2019 12:55 PM #22
Rainmaker
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John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

SO sorry about losing Keith.  Very tough to see any relative pass and you have our condolences! The Thoreau quote is thought-provoking!  Thank you

Jan 02, 2019 01:11 PM #23
Rainmaker
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Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

I'm so sorry Tammy.  Having lost a brother last year I so sympathize.  I saw the FB video of all of his attendees.  What a nice tribute with all those attendees.  So heartwarming to see that many people touched by someone's life.  Best of luck to his wife.  I hope she remains strong!

Jan 02, 2019 08:08 PM #24
Rainmaker
5,385,646
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks so much for telling us about Keith. It is difficult when we lose family members. 

Your advice is a good reminder for all of us.

Jan 03, 2019 05:27 AM #25
Rainmaker
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Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070
Golden Gate Sotheby's International - Oakland, CA
Opening the Doors to California Homes -East Bay

Im so sorry for your loss, Tammy. Keep living and keep loving life. 

Jan 03, 2019 02:13 PM #26
Rainmaker
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Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Tammy, I'm sorry for your loss. Your post touched me deeply when I read it yesterday, and is as strong today as it was then. 

Jan 03, 2019 08:46 PM #27
Rainer
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Michelle L. Mayo
RE/MAX on the Bay - Niantic, CT
Shoreline Homes Girl

I'm so very sorry for your loss.  My heart aches for you and the rest of his family and friends.  The video was very moving.  It gave me goosebumps.

Jan 04, 2019 07:35 PM #28
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

So good to catch up with you this week, Tammy! I just wanted to pop over and let you know that you're still in my prayers. BIG HUGS...

Jan 05, 2019 07:20 PM #29
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Tammy

I was so sorry to hear of your loss on Facebook. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here... and hopefully time will heal the pain and make the memories even more special. Life just seems to hand us surprises when we least expect them. Know that we are all thinking of you!

Jeff

Jan 06, 2019 08:07 PM #30
Rainmaker
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Thom Abbott
MyMidtownMojo.com |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale

Thoughts and prayers to you and the family....can't imagine that experience. I watched the video again and cried. It reminded me of my Dad's funeral, way back in 1994, which I can still very vividly remember. We were at the gravesite, and the service had started and cars were still pulling up. 

Hugs and hugs and more hugs.....

Jan 07, 2019 11:52 AM #31
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Jeff Dowler, CRS not sure I will see you, but family emergency has us in Chula Visita this week.  My mom in law will be having open heart surgery sometime before the end of the week.

Jan 07, 2019 03:42 PM #32
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