Life Lessons – Lloyd Skelton

I wrote this awhile ago, but have been thinking about the past, where I have come from, how I got here, and the help along the way. A friend of mine, who I met at an architecture form we both worked at, was last seen on June 4th, 2005. He was planning to kayak and hike in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) in northern MN. While I did not know him very long, some things I learned are still materializing as lessons and reminders. It is fascinating to realize later in life, the subtle words and advice we glean from others, even when we are not aware of it at the time or may not have been listening.

This memorial will be as much about Lloyd as what I have taken away from this event. I first had the privilege to meet Lloyd in 1994 when I started work at a downtown architecture company. I was new on the block, still going to school, trying to figure out where to begin my career. I felt Lloyd was different than most “computer” people. He was not stressed, pulling his hair out, trying to meet deadlines. There was something very peaceful in his personality and the way he interacted with people. He was easy to get along with and had many experiences to share.

After some time, I started to look up to Lloyd more and more. We went to breakfast a couple of times at one of his favorite hole-in-the-wall cafes and talked about anything and everything. Eventually, I started to learn from Lloyd and move my career into new directions. Lloyd got me started in software development and showed me the ropes. He was always there if I had any questions. He was a true mentor and friend.

I regret not having much contact with Lloyd since leaving that company in 1996. The last time I saw or talked to Lloyd was January 2002 at a party for a mutual friend. He was the same Lloyd, a little more grey and a little wiser.

What I will remember the most and hold dear to heart is that Lloyd worked to live. He did not live to work, and this is very important. Since I first heard about him missing and now the reality that he will not be returning to us, I have done much soul searching. I feel too much of my live is spent working and stressing about things we cannot control and that may not add much meaning to our lives. Our time here is short and my time here is short. I have spent considerable time thinking about what I can do to make my life more meaningful and push any remaining years I have to the limits. The ultimate sin we can commit is regret. Regretting that we did not love enough, that we did not experience enough.

I have Lloyd to thank for opening my eyes.

Rest in peace my friend.


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