When Its Time to Say Goodbye

17 Jul

He was my favorite and I’m pretty sure everyone knew it. Because if someone didn’t know, I told them. Sure, we could laugh and joke about my favorite employees but I only had one FAVORITE.

He only had two shortcomings.  First, he was a Boston boy who loved the Yankees.  And second, I was only his second favorite employee.

But his strengths far outweighed his trivial shortcomings.  He was the happiest, most positive person I have ever met. Will probably ever meet.  I used to detour down the stairs, past his work station, any time I needed some cheering up.  Good news, bad news, he shared it all.  Good news, bad news, he listened to it all.  I always knew I was only a few stairs away from his calming presence and excellent advice.

Sure, he was almost triple my age.  (Hence all the wisdom.) But I swear he had more energy than I have…and that’s saying a lot. He was humble and kind and sweet. Like Nicholas-Sparks-should-write-a-book-about-him-that-borderlines-on-sappy sweet.  Except that Nicholas Sparks doesn’t write books that borderline on sappy.  He sells sappy. For a lot of money.

He had a lot of “girlfriends” at work as we jokingly called it. But even the guys would get indignant when I mentioned he was my favorite.  “Isn’t he everyone’s favorite?” they would retort.

And the only thing that could make him happier and more energetic than he normally was (a spike on an already very high level of positivity) was discussing his wife. And how she beat cancer. And was super badass.  And was the most wonderful thing in his life.  His eyes would get misty, sometimes he’d even shed a tear. And if your heart hadn’t already melted into the tile floor by now, well….we were all reduced to soaking wet Wicked Witches at this point.

The last time I saw him, I knew that it would be the last time I saw him. I got choked up.  My friend (the one who was first favorite) told me to stay strong and positive and now to say goodbye. So I didn’t.  But I did send some mail – some cards, to let him know that I was praying and thinking about him and grateful that I was blessed to know him. I have a super cuddly teddy bear that he gave to me at Christmas and it often reminded me to think and pray for him.

And now he’s gone.  No more pain. No more suffering.

An amazing legacy left behind.

And an entire company full of people who miss him.

“He knew you were crazy about him, that’s all that matters” my friend said. And it was true.

“I need a hug because I miss him and I can’t hug him” I told another friend.  And that was also true.

“He taught me so much about how to treat other people, how to live a life of joy, and how to boast about others” said a friend.  And that is most definitely true.

My life is better for having known him and I can guarantee I am only one of thousands who feels that way.

But I still hate saying goodbye.

 

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One Response to “When Its Time to Say Goodbye”

  1. Matt July 18, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    Very moving, Liz. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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