In the June issue of Live Happy magazine I share the story of a young man named Stan who had made a huge impression on me as a kid. He was the brave, modest star of my childhood baseball team. To his teammates, “Stan the Man” represented the ideal of leadership and fortitude.
So I embarked on a journey to find Stan, with the intention of telling him what he meant to me. This was an exciting proposition for me because over the years I had thought of Stan often. I imagined really surprising Stan, catching him by complete surprise, as I would tell him 50 years later how he inspired all of us little leaguers.
My goal was a simple one: Locate Stan, hope that he remembered me and write about the experience so I could share it with you. I wanted my journey to inspire you so that you would follow my lead and tell someone from your past how much they inspired and meant to you. I thought, what a wonderful way to spread gratitude, appreciation and joy to others. I anticipated a moving conversation with Stan and was excited to learn about the course his life took and how his future, after little league, unfolded.
But that’s not what happened.
I wasn’t prepared for what I found as I embarked on my journey. Sadly, on December 20, 1992, Stan the Man passed away. He was such a young man at only 40! What could have happened, I wondered.
I learned that Stan had committed suicide; he had hanged himself. This was a huge shock to me. I was profoundly saddened and bewildered by this discovery. I really vacillated about sharing this news with you. I could have just shared that Stan had passed away and just let it end there, but that would have been a hollow edited version of the story.
The fact is, I just wanted you to know what I know and to ask you to move now and tell the person who inspired you that they matter—that they made a difference in your life.