It was a wonderful few years I worked at that company. I spoke with an old friend today who told me that another of our coworkers, J, had recently passed away. No one can find out any details on J's passing. It was sudden and unexpected. I find it hard to imagine the world without him. I did not keep in touch with him except through Facebook, but he would always pop into my email every once in a while with a baseball score or two. It made me sad to think of him leaving this world. He was smart as a tack and so funny he would make your sides hurt. He had a wry, sarcastic sense of humor and impeccable timing. He could make faces at people behind their back and in a split second, be all polite and listening to you. He had a wonderful gift for working with our customers and the customers loved him. Best of all, he was kind; when he was sarcastic, it was to pinprick us when we felt our heads swell with importance, or when we lost site of the people we were supposed to be serving.
Talking to my former colleague, another person with whom I'd shared those marvelous days, made me feel a bit nostalgic. The other day I was thinking of a former boss from that company who had died many years ago. He was a gifted copywriter, one of the best I have ever worked with, who taught me so much about writing in the 8 months I worked with him that I silently thank him in my heart when I write, and I silently ask his forgiveness for my being a know-it-all upstart. I wasn't always kind to him and I wish I could go back in time and tell him "thank you."
So many good memories. I feel nostalgic but not sad. It helped me to talk to my friend, to realize that the happy memories will always stay with me. Times have changed and the company has changed. New leadership is coming aboard. I will not be there to experience its next incarnation, and that's okay. I have wonderful memories of what life can be life when people in a company genuinely like and respect one another. During the years I worked there, I had the pleasure of working with so many bright, talented, dedicated people, many of whom I have kept in touch with over the years.
I think that says a lot. When people you work with become like family, and it's a decade later and you still pick up the phone to catch up, you know your good memories are true. True, good and bright.
Be well, J. I hope you rest in peace and thank you for the wonderful memories.