Nine Years Ago
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

Nine years ago this month, I walked into the biggest hotel I had ever seen, The Orlando World Center Marriott. This would be my home for the next three days. With a blend of excitement and nervousness, I was taking the next step in my leadership journey, and at the end of the three days, I would be completing the last portion of my Maxwell Leadership coaching certification. Midway through the first morning, I was introduced to our Sales Coach, Ed DeCosta. Something about this man from South Boston, now living in Morgantown, West Virginia, resonated with me. Was it his strong Bostonian accent, the rivalry between the Red Sox and the Yankees, or maybe the fact that we both grew up watching Big East Basketball? Whatever it was, Ed was able to connect with me.

In my early years with the Maxwell Team, I would seek out sessions that Ed was leading. It was Ed that introduced me to my daily affirmations. It was Ed who shared his Daily Agenda with me, which later became my Daily Navigation document. It was Ed who taught me to put the gremlins in my mind on trial and convict them as liars. Ed left the Team as a faculty member about five years ago when he needed to battle a brain tumor and cancer. Even though he wasn’t meeting with us twice a year, he stayed connected via Facebook by encouraging us with his humor, deep faith in God, love for his family, and endless quotes that he paired with great pictures.

Ed passed away in his sleep last week at only 60 years old. He had just returned home from a vacation in Cape Cod with his wife, children, and two beautiful grandsons. I learned of Ed’s passing via our private Facebook page. Condolences and reactions were almost continuous for days. This morning, I decided to take another look at Ed’s Facebook page and glean some encouragement. I thought I would share a few with you today.

The following quote was paired with a picture of Ed and his family at the Cape with the caption, “Make yours a conscious, alive Saturday”:

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” – Thornton Wilder

The following quote was paired with pictures of his grandsons playing on the beach and the caption, “Make yours a happy, playful Friday”:

It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes.” – St. Thomas Aquinas

Lastly, paired with a picture of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh dancing down a street and the sentiment, “Make yours a happy Thursday”:

Happiness is an inside job.” – William Arthur Ward

When you read this, I will once again be at the biggest hotel I have ever seen. There will probably be over 2,000 people at our conference, and everyone who knew Ed will feel a little lonely. We will all have an empty spot in our hearts, and as he’s officially celebrated, we will shed a tear or two. If Ed were there, he would remind us of the treasures we have. Treasures of faith, family, and friends. The treasures of living in the United States of America and being able to earn a living by adding value to others. Last of all, Ed, the treasure of getting to know you and the lessons and memories you shared with us.

As you read this post, who came to mind? Who has been a blessing in your life? I don’t get another chance on this Earth to thank Ed. That will need to wait a bit longer. I pray that I will be smart enough to acknowledge people that are blessings in my life more often. We never know when they or we will be whisked away to our reward.

Thank you for taking the time to read my musings each week. You are a blessing to me and our community.