For Jean


I’ve worked hard most of my life.

I’ve enjoyed many friends along the way.

I’ve laughed a lot.

I’ve learned a lot.

And I’ve always loved to write.

I’ve traveled to distant lands.

I fell in love.

I had children.

I felt my life was full.

And it was.

I had a friend named Jean.

Jean was 85 years old.

Jean was a retired nurse.

Jean loved me.

I loved Jean.

And Jean loved life.

She got sick one day.

Then very sick.

On one of her last days, she whispered in my ear.

“Don’t waste it.”

That made me sad.

I felt a deep sense of regret.

And I woke up that day.

I wanted to change my life.

It took me years to let my light shine.

To believe that it could.

I also realized something else.

The light dims a bit more each day.

If we don’t choose to see it.

Believe it.

Share it.

Feel it.

It will fade.

And then it will go away.

I realized the light was me.

And you.


The difference we make.

The imprint we leave.

The caress we give.

The path we create.

To help other people.

The light is it.

The light is within us.

It is why we are here.

The light is now.

The light is love.


Copyright © Kelly Huntson and

*originally published Aug. 2015

94 thoughts on “For Jean

  1. It is already August 15th here. It is India’s Independence Day as personified by Freedom at Midnight and Midnight’s Children. I think we will leave the bombast and reblog your poem as a guiding light for my nation, its leaders especially and the people including me first of all.!Thank you!

  2. We posted a similar article today. Yours refers to preventing a light from dimming; mine refers to allowing the inner light to become free. Showing people there is opportunity and choice and reinforcing these ideas with the reality of a limited timeframe is a powerful message. I hope people read your words carefully and take them to heart. Their quality of life will dramatically be affected.

  3. This should be every ones’ creed because you’re right. The light dims just like Tink’s when she was shut in that jar. But for us, once it goes out, no amount of clapping with bring it back. Beautifully said…

    1. Thank you! I love your analogy! I hadn’t even thought of that! I had a necklace with a Tinker Bell charm on it when I was a little girl. I just cherished it. That was a nice memory! Thank you so much for your kindness once again. xo

  4. Don’t waste it. Yes, that is a strong message and not one easily forgotten, Kelly. I can see why you wanted to change your life after that. I felt that way after my dad died. It’s time to get living and I know I’m the only who can make my life what I want it to be. Thanks for these words, Kelly. They’re beautiful. xo

    1. Yes, it is strangely difficult! So true! I guess we have an innate propensity for taking things for granted or something. But every moment sure is precious and I’m thankful you said that. :)

  5. We are the light, and each others, we are all one. I love this. Wow. One of the best things I’ve read in a long time

    1. Yes, I can easily see this speaking to you for sure! I totally agree with you, and I’m so glad you liked it. I think you spread this message pretty much every time you post. :)

  6. What a moving, lovely thing you’ve created in this one, Kelly. How wonderful to recognize and honor that light while you still can. “Don’t waste it”…a brief but all-telling message. You were lucky to have her in your life. ❤️

  7. I truly was touched with this beautiful post. The pretty heart lights, your life well spent but still hearing those words whispered brought a deeper meaning to your life, Kelly. I will hope we all won’t waste our lives. Embracing this truth and pressing it into my heart. This was a tribute to Miss Jean, too. I think she is smiling.

      1. I look at it this way ( having been reasonably close to the next stage a couple times … )

        Alexander the great conquered the known world by the time he was 32. So 30 years is a full life, after 30, think of it as bonus time.

      2. I remember you telling me about your hospital stays. But I don’t agree that 30 years is a full life, even though I understand your point. If you have children, you spend so much of your time consumed with raising them. And when they get a little more self-sustaining, you have more time to pursue things you want to do in your free time, at least that has been my experience. And hopefully you gain even more wisdom and the ability to live life more fully. I will need many more years to do all that I want to do, because sometimes I feel like I’m just getting started!

      3. Yes, great attitude. I guess you could consider every day bonus time in a sense. I know not to take anything for granted. I’ve seen so much suffering in my life which has made me stronger and optimistic, surprisingly. And I agree that our time should be seen as a special opportunity because there are so many who don’t get that time. Thanks, Bill

  8. I read somewhere once that a certain butterfly has a 6 week life cycle. During that time they perform the most amazing journey and migrate. So I think at the end of the day it isnt the length of ones life that matters but it is the quality by which we live it. Your poem is a great reminder to make every moment count =)

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