An important lesson a friend taught me with his passing.
There are many people I met in the United States Wrestling Federation that I've never called by their given names. Victor J. Cavalera, X-treme, Brando Spade, The Lariat, and Ryan Starr to name a few. The Giant Puma is one of them, and I'm sure he's preferred it that way. I didn't even know what his actual name was until we became friends on Facebook.
Puma was 34-years-old at the time of his passing, the same age range as most of the USWF crew. I'm 33 at the time of this writing. We all assume that we'll live at least into our 70's, if we're lucky. But life is an unpredictable thing, and no greater evidence of that is when one so close to us dies without warning at a young age. As if taking great care to live a safe and long-lasting life weren't hard enough, there are outside forces beyond our control that could either greatly inhibit our health or eliminate us altogether.
Puma created a wonderful family and amassed a collection of the best friends anyone could ask for, and he clearly loved life and made the most of it. How many of us can say we're completely happy with our position in the world? And if we are, is there any way we can make it better? I don't like where I am right now. I know I'm capable of much more than what I've done so far. I've squandered my youth with procrastination and complacency. Do I have enough time to make a definitive mark on the world?
The Giant Puma may have passed, but he'll live forever in the memories and stories of all who knew him. Let his life serve as both a guideline and a warning. Enjoy as much of it as you can and as soon as you can. Because you just never know when it might