Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

He was five feet six inches tall and shouldn’t have been a basketball star, but in high school they called him Pistol Pete because he was so fast and could hit shots from anywhere on the floor. He led his team to championships.

In his too-brief life, he was an Army airborne infantryman, a highly successful marketing and advertising executive, a boat captain, a scuba instructor, a tennis pro, a successful business owner, an author, an alligator wrestler, and a few other things I’m just now learning about.

I am glad that I had the chance to tell him that it was he who motivated me to sing.

I wish I’d known more about all these other things he did, this brother who was so much older than me that he was out into life by the time I was just an infant.

This older brother who influenced me in ways I never imagined, never knew.

At his memorial service, I sang two songs in his memory: “My Way” and “If Tomorrow Never Comes.” As I sang, I kept thinking how I would never have been able to do it without his influence.

My point in this missive is to tell you not to wait until it’s too late to tell special people in your life how you feel about them.

It’s never too late to ask questions of parents, siblings, relatives, or friends who are important in your life. It’s never too late to tell them something important.

In my brother’s case, we had a bit of warning time; often, there is no warning before someone special to you is gone.

As the song “If Tomorrow Never Comes” concludes, “Tell that someone that you love, just what you’re thinking of, if Tomorrow Never Comes” so that you don’t live with the regret that your true feelings for them never were revealed.

Randy Gaddo, a retired Marine who also served for 15 years in municipal parks and recreation, is now a full-time photojournalist who lives in Peachtree City, Ga.; he can be reached at (678) 350-8642 or email

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2 comments on “Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

  1. Barb Burkholder on said:

    Thanks for another compelling life story. May your brother rest in the peace of the Lord.
    Barb Burkholder in Dublin, Ohio

  2. D Reed on said:

    God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
    I agree with “Don’t wait”. My brother was diagnosed last year with Lukemia. We both share a love of music, it is our unique bond, and often play at family events together.
    This past summer we took our first ever vacation together at a guitar camp in Tennessee. We learned so much about each other at that camp, sharing stories about our lives, recapturing early family memories and just enjoying each other. He is doing well at this time and is in remission, but we have vowed to spend each summer at a place of our choosing to spend with each other in some shared interest. Don’t wait!

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