I have had something very unusual happen to me in the last 60 days. Three people I have worked with for more than 25 years have lost their spouses. I have seen people I have not seen in over 10 years at the three funerals. What a sad way to have a reunion of some of the most fun people I have ever known. These are people I grew up with, not only in an industry, but as a person as well. It was good to relive some of the fonder memories as we visited with our sadden friends.
Having been to the third funeral this morning, and seeing a mountain of a man reduced to a shell, I started to understand the over whelming remorse he was feeling. I loved this man when I worked with him. He was an unusual guy from a stand point of you either liked him, or you hated him. One of the few men in my life I have ever known that was this way. I am blessed to have known him. He showed me a lot of things during the time I worked with him. I think the one thing he did that the hated him people saw was he was very comfortable with the truth. No matter what the receiver might think, he was very comfortable taking the other side if that is what he believed, a rare trait in deed. Looking into my old friend’s eyes this afternoon all I saw was a hollow being. It was like his soul had been stripped from him. His wife’s death was very sudden and he and his family were in shock.
I got to thinking about my own wife, and what if something happened to her. To tell you the truth I started crying driving down the street. Isn’t it strange how we come into this world an individual, and if you are blessed you become a team? As someone once said “there is no I in team”. For that matter there is no I in any of my teams. I’m so blessed to be a member of so many teams. I have my Memphis Family team. Every member to a person gives so the others are taken care of and comfortable. We just returned from vacation and one couple of the family stay behind. Daily, they checked on my wife’s mother, and her brother who was tending the home fire while my wife got a much deserved break. She would text my wife daily with updates and reassuring her all was good back at the house. That’s what true teams do. I have my work team. A small group I know I can count on the go the extra mile and not expect anything for the effort. It’s all for the good of the group. I’m very proud to be on all of my teams.
As I reflect back on the three funerals there was a hollow feeling at each one. I even remember feeling it as I remembered the fun times I had shared with the people involved in this tragedy. Strange how I hadn’t thought of most of these people until I heard of the death, and saw them at the funeral home. I knew them, and considered them friends but people retire, move on, lose touch, and become focused on their own issues as we all do. Wouldn’t it be great if we would do what we say we will do at these events? “I’ll call you”, “We’ll get together”, “Let’s stay in touch, here’s my email”. But somehow we end right back in our own little world where we feel comfortable and safe. What a shame. Well I guess I need to put it in my calendar to make sure I call my friend in a month and check on him. That is the least I can do for a guy who I spent twenty five years around. Don’t you think?
Well I’m going in here and cook dinner. The Memphis Family is headed this way and I need to put the feed bag on them!! But I can promise you the first thing I’m going to do is go and hug and kiss my wife and tell her how much she means to me. I would hope and pray if the good lord takes me the last thing she heard me say was “I Love You”. And I wish the same for you.
The Blessed Man