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Saying goodbye to a friend gone too soon

Dec. 20, 2011
By Kevin Henry
Editor, Dental Assisting Digest
“Hey, could you do me a favor? Would you take a picture of me and Flat Stanley for my kids?”
I was standing in the middle of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center during the recent ADA Annual Session talking to my friend Wyatt Wilson of Acteon Group. It was right after he had accepted the Pride Best of Class technology award on behalf of his company. He’d just asked me the two questions above, and I had to smile at the request. I have an amazing 13-year-old daughter and I always try to find ways to connect with her while I’m on the road. For Wyatt and his young children, it was taking pictures of him with Flat Stanley in different places throughout the country. (By the way, if you’ve never read the book with your kids, you need to. It’s a great book.)I laughed. I shared my family’s love of Flat Stanley as well. We talked about being a dad and being on the road. We took the picture and I emailed it to him so he could forward it to his kids to show he was thinking of them in Las Vegas. I moved on to taking other pictures of other winners and he moved on to talking to other people.It was that moment we shared that I thought of when I heard that Wyatt had died suddenly of a massive heart attack on December 10 at the age of 39. I thought about Flat Stanley. I thought about us sharing that laugh over a book that both our kids loved. I thought about a dad who loved and thought of his kids while he was traveling.I waved to Wyatt at the Greater New York meeting but didn’t have a chance to go over and say hello. I regret that now. We’re all busy and there are always people we don’t get a chance to catch up with or share small talk with. Wyatt was one of those for me at the GNYDM.My heart breaks for Wyatt’s family and his friends at Acteon. They have been and will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers during this holiday season. I hope they will be in yours as well.We all have a limited number of days on this earth, and we don’t know when those days will be up. Make the most of every day. Don’t count on tomorrow being there. Don’t put off time with friends, family, and loved ones. I don’t know that I necessarily believe in New Year’s resolutions, but I know I’m going to take these words to heart as we enter into 2012.I wish each of you a wonderful New Year. Read on, this is your e-newsletter…