On Sunday January 22nd, I had the honor of attending the memorial service of my colleague and friend, Jeff Hamilton who passed away from pancreatic cancer on January 10th. There were hundreds of people at the service and several spoke in gratitude of how wonderful it was to have such an incredible human being in their lives and what an inspiration he was to so many that his presence touched.
I had such a story about Jeff. Back about a year ago when I was writing my "Thoughts from the Top" about my climbs up Camelback Mountain and what those climbs meant to me and how they made me think and feel, out of the blue, I got a call from Jeff. He wanted to let ME know how inspiring my thoughts were to him and how he enjoyed reading them.
His call made me feel good, except I really didn't understand what he was going through at the time and the severity of the situation. In retrospect, and having attended his memorial/celebration of his life on Sunday, his call now haunts me. Through all the noise and chaos of social media, something I did, touched, inspired and helped Jeff through his tough journey through his cancer. I am honored to have known Jeff, and wish I had understood the gravity of his situation and that out time was limited to strengthen our friendship. I treasure the time we spent together and the relationship that we had. After Sunday, I now have a clearer understanding of just how, strong, funny, loving, compassionate and extraordinary Jeff Hamilton was. His legacy makes me want to be a better person and live life on high velocity as he did!
This photo of Jeff and his wife, Carolyn was taken in a photo shoot with his family a week before he passed. It captures so much of who Jeff was in the moment the camera caught the image. I hope I shall never take for granted anyone or the time I have to share special moments with the people who are important to me. Thank you, Jeff Hamilton.