I am reminded almost every day that life is precious and we should never take one second for granted.

I met lots of wonderful trapshooters during the past years – and unfortunately, I also heard of lots and lots passing away. I knew very few personally, but the threads on trapshooters.com are always rich with amazing support for the ones that lost a loved friend or family member.

Almost every week there will be a mention of yet another trapshooter that’s now playing in Heaven(ly) competitions…

And every time I read about them I pray for their family and friends and I also remind myself how grateful should I be to ‘be alive and well’ like Kenny Chesney says in his last song.

This past summer I have been touched more personally by this type of loss – first when Mark Edmonson lost his courageous battle with cancer, then more recently when Indiana’s John Gould died quite suddenly… While I wasn’t a close friend to any of them, I just loved being around both. Mark had an amazing personality, and Mr. Gould was for sure a figure on the range. We met Mr. Gould back in 2007, in Michigan, and every year we will chat at all the shoots we found together (Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania)… this year I was wondering at the Cardinal shoot where would he be (it’s impossible to miss him and for the whole week I could not see him), just to come back home and find out he’s sick… and in a matter of weeks, he was gone…

I was sad (still am)- now I’ll never hear their laugh and I’ll never admire the turquoises (Mr. Gould was wearing amazing silver/turquoise jewelry… and this is a very less-known fact about me: I am quite crazy about jewelry and I am completely nuts about turquoise, they are my absolute #1 stone; if you’ve ever seen me in one of those Trade posts up north, where they display native jewelry…) – now whenever I’ll go to one of the Ohio / Penn / MI shoots and walk the vendor lines I am bound to remember Mr. Gould (one of the vendors sells the type of silver/turquoise jewelry he used to wear). And whenever I go to Hamilton GC I will remember Mark…

This sport being one with a very high age average I am also bound to be touched by loss every now and then. A constant reminder of what friendship should be: a gift we handle with care, we wrap with emotions, and we give with love. A constant reminder that life is to be cherished for the present moment, and not waited around for the next ‘perfect’ moment. A constant reminder that we are not forever, but our memories are and what we do with our life (in those daily little moments) is important, because that’s what we will leave behind us: memories.

So the task for today is simple: find a loved one and tell them you love them. Then repeat

And, of course, make sure you See one, Smooth to one, then Smoke one!


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