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Send the f*cking socks

I bought my brother socks for Christmas in 2021.

Not just any socks. It was a set of 12, all themed around my brother's favorite movie, Christmas Vacation.

Each sock had a funny image or quote from the movie, like "Don't hog the nog".

We never bought each other gifts, but I wanted him to have these.

Except I procrastinated. I didn't mail them in time for Christmas.

I looked at them each day just sitting on my table... the guilt of not sending them just growing inside me.

Like I said... we never bought each other gifts, and I think subconsciously, I wanted this Christmas to be just like any other.

But it wasn't.

Just a couple months earlier, my brother was diagnosed with terminal gall bladder cancer and given 6 months to live.

This would be his final Christmas.

His final weeks would be grueling and we didn't really speak over that period of time.

During my final call with him in the days before he passed, I did nearly all of the speaking as he was too weak to talk.

Just before we hung up, he found the strength to say his final words to me...

"I'm sorry."

He said this repeatedly to me for 30 seconds before he couldn't speak any longer. And then we hung up.

My brother passed away 2 years ago today on March 10th, 2022.

At the time it didn't fully register, but his final words to me have become a guiding principle in my life.

They were his final gift to me.

To realize that tomorrow isn't promised.

To prioritize health and relationships.

To love deeply and fully.

To leave no words left unsaid.

To leave no love left unexpressed.

To do all of this so that your final words to your loved ones will not be "I'm sorry".

To send the f*cking socks.

I love you, Nick.

Oh, and F*CK CANCER.

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