Hello, friends. Bandit Paul here.
Our aim at Bed Bandits is to help everyone get a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, lately, sleep has been tough to come by for me. Last week, my uncle, Mark Wilson, passed away as a result of a boating accident. It is a tragedy that hit my family hard. But it has also reminded us of what is truly important, and personally reaffirmed me in everything we do at Bed Bandits.
My uncle was as good as people get. He had an infectious laugh that could be heard throughout the home of a family gathering. He was a musician at heart, who could belt out a rendition of Eric Clapton’s “Layla” about as well as the man himself. And I can promise you this: you never had tri-tip until you had Uncle Mark’s tri-tip.
He also had an unyielding belief in his loved ones, including me. Mark pushed me to be the best I could be all my life. When I was applying for college, he helped edit and critique my admissions essay. And then, when I was accepted to Holy Names University, he co-signed my student loans so that I could live my dream of playing college basketball. Without Mark, I would not have attended HNU. I would not have had the opportunity to play college ball, where I met Patrick Turner, which means I would not be a member of the Bed Bandits family, writing this to you today.
The last time I saw Mark was May 8, when we met for lunch. We caught up, made plans to get together in the summer, and exchanged videos of our dogs. Then I told him about a new company with which I had been getting more and more involved; a start-up founded by my old college roommate and his fiancé. I told him all about Bed Bandits toppers, our quality, and our business strategy. When it came time to tell him about the other side of Bed Bandits—the social justice component, where we donate a topper for every three we sell—I was, to be honest, a bit hesitant.
You see, my uncle is one of the smartest people I’ve ever known. He was successful throughout his entire career, which was a result of making intelligent, logical decisions that made good business sense. What was he going to think when I told him we’re intentionally giving away 25% of our revenue?
Looking back, I shouldn’t have been surprised that he loved the idea. After all, one of Mark’s many great qualities was his charity. He thought donating the toppers was a really cool way of giving back and said we should absolutely continue doing it. Mark did a lot of things in my life that positively impacted me. I will never forget that, the last time I saw him, he gave his blessing to Bed Bandits and our commitment to help everyone get a good night’s sleep. My one regret is not telling him what that meant to me.
It’s because of people like my uncle that Bed Bandits has a place in this world. Mark set the example that success and compassion are not mutually exclusive ideals. As strong as my belief was in the Bed Bandits cause, it was strengthened even further by Mark’s encouragement. We at Bed Bandits will continue working to change the world in our own little way, and I can only hope that the work we do will positively impact people a fraction of the level Mark impacted me.
I almost cancelled that lunch on May 8. It would have been easy to reschedule at the time. As it turned out, keeping those plans was one of the best decisions of my life. It was our last conversation, the last time we’d see each other, and it was filled with laughter, encouragement and happiness. Don’t put off time with the ones you care about. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.
Love deeply. Be kind. Sleep well.