This week I got the horrible news that a former colleague of mine, Scott Emberley, passed away after losing a battle with cancer. I worked with Scott for nearly six years at my former PR agency and after I left, we remained friends off and on.
Scott was a funny guy that infected everyone he came in contact with via his wit, smarts and sheer love of life. He was a ball of energy and always came to the party with a slew of jokes that would just make your belly hurt as if you were doing a million crunches.
Through Scott, I learned a lot about the creative side of the PR/Advertising/Marketing business; things like project management, blue lines, hierarchy of content, critical path, etc., etc. -- all the buzz words that came from the advertising side of the business (being that I'm a PR traditionalists to a certain extent).
Other than what I learned from him about business, I learned much more about keeping light in the office and a ton about Newfoundland (where Scottie was from). He also introduced me to bands like I Mother Earth and Our Lady Peace.
Last time I talked to Scott was about a year and a half ago via email and Facebook. Despite is battle with cancer, he was still the same old Scottie -- joking and playing around.
Now, I knew that Scottie was well liked, but not until this week, did I realize how much of an impact he had on the lives of many.
You see, one of Scott's friends started a memorial page on Facebook. I've spent a considerable about of time reading the messages to Scott and his family and it is truly touching. It's breathtaking and amazing. It's wonderful and joyous. Despite the void his passing has left in the lives of many, his legacy is living on through our shared experiences and stories. I even made a couple of new friends because of Scott and will continue with those relationships as it's a testament to the type of guy Scottie was.
This leads me to my point...
I was watching TV this morning and came across the movie, "Phenomenon," the John Travolta movie that basically is about this hick who gets a brain tumor and ends up become very intelligent. Through the trials and tribulations of his new found brilliance, he impacts the lives of everyone in the community. After passing at a young age, the community celebrates his impact in the closing scene of the movie. As the camera sweeps across the crowd and shows how the Travolta affected people, the Eric Clapton song, "If I Could Change the World," starts playing.
This got me thinking about Scott and the many, many messages I've read on Facebook.
While Scottie didn't create some cure for a global disease, nor discover a planet, he did change the world. In the grand scheme of things, his impact on this earth might be small, but if you talk to the people who knew and loved Scott, they would tell you otherwise.
So a big tip of the cap to my friend and former colleague Scott Emberley. This world is a better place for having you in it. May you rest in peace.