My best friend from childhood is Lee Carpenter. 

He and I lived in adjacent lots that shared a corner.  That corner never grew grass because we were always stomping back and forth between our houses.  He had a swing set in his yard and I had piney woods with trees to climb and access to the creek.  He used to let me ride his larger Big Wheel because I was bigger than him and couldn’t ride mine anymore, but that way we could both cruise around our neighborhood together looking for trouble.  I went to his First Communion even though I had to wear uncomfortable clothes and no idea what a First Communion was or what was happening.  Our Lego collections routinely intermingled.  Once he added pretend wings to our pretend pirate ship because he knew I was deadly afraid of the ocean.  We protected each other when our neighbor’s big mean dog got out of its yard and came after us.  We took a dance class together because our moms wanted us to.  We once spent an afternoon figuring out how matchbox cars are put together by smashing ours apart.  Lee’s awesome, and I just got off the phone with his mother.  He passed away on July 24, 2014 from a rare germ cell cancer he apparently carried in him for his whole 41 years on Earth. 

Getting back in touch with Lee has been on my GTD “someday” list.  For years.  I’m looking at the list right now, and it’s on there.  It just says “Lee?” but I know what it means.  I probably copied that item from list to list maybe a dozen times over the span of years.  Something I should really do at some point.

And that’s as far as my effort went.  The stupid line item doesn’t matter anymore.  It’s no longer within my purview as to whether it happens.  It’s a terribly harsh reminder that as important as goals are, they’re just meaningless noise if you don’t make the effort.

So I know a Lee whose father left, but I’ll never know the Lee who raised a son on his own.

I know a Lee who couldn’t read.  I’ll never know the Lee who taught himself to do so in his Twenties. 

I know a Lee who went to some “special” school no adult would elaborate on.  I’ll never know the Lee that worked in the Smithsonian restoring historical pieces.

I know a Lee who could build homes for Star Wars action figures out of Legos.  I’ll never know the Lee who could recreate authentic furniture stains and polishes from different historical periods.

I’m happy to know the Lee I know.  But I think I’ll always wonder about the other one.  He sounds like a pretty great guy.

So hey, why don’t you stop reading this and do that thing you’ve wanted to do that you haven’t done.  Please.