Fifteen years ago today, my father passed away after a mercifully brief bout with cancer. He was only diagnosed the month before. That gave him enough time to set his affairs in order without having to endure protracted suffering. I thought then – and still believe now – that having a month's warning is about the best one can hope for when your time inevitably comes.

I was fortunate to be with my dad – holding his hand – when he shuffled off this mortal coil. At his request, his body was donated to science. Two years later, when his remains were returned, we laid him to rest in the columbarium at Arlington National Cemetery. This June I made my first visit since his memorial. Today seems like a great day to post this photo I took on that trip.

Life is short. Sometimes much shorter than you would have guessed. Remember this and get off your tail. Go make or do something your kin will be proud of after you're gone.