Thursday, July 9, 2009

The passing of a friend...

Yesterday I received word that a former co-worker had passed away from a heart attack. He and I had worked in the same office (different teams) for nearly 9 years before we retired in 2007. Such a gentle giant, I had never heard him utter a curse or say an unkind thing about anyone. He never played a joke on me but he had a wonderful sense of humor. He retired 3 months before I did and to mark the occasion, he wore his tux to work his last day. I sat with him for about a half hour, talking about his aspirations for retirement, as anxious for my own, I was seeking validation of a decision he had made, too. He had a daughter in high school who shared his love of astronomy and they were going to capture the heavens.

His wife was a year younger than I. Shortly before she retired in September of 2008, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy. She opted for chemo and radiation, lost all her hair but still, she came back to work a few weeks before she retired. I had not heard anything more about them until yesterday. You would have thought they had finally reached their apex, retired, fully vested in their retirement pension, and recuperating from her recent bout with cancer. And then he died. Such unbelievably sad news.

I didn't know him that well, our work took us down different paths, even in the same office. But his passing has rocked my world. I guess for a short time, he and I were contemporaries. We retired close together, we had worked in the same office, and we both had high aspirations for life after retirement. Now, I go on and he's not. I woke at 2am this morning with him on my mind. I got out my Bible and started searching for answers to a sorrow that I couldn't understand and for tears that I didn't know were there. God is so good and so gentle to those of us with sorrow in our hearts. I gripe and complain that life gets in my way of doing what I want, when I want, where I want....the very definition of selfishness.

I guess the whole point of this exercise is this and you've heard it before. You are not guaranteed your next breath of life. Make all the plans you want, but know that God is ultimately in control of your life, whether you like it or not, whether you believe in him or not. The best thing to do is to get on board with God and work your life out together, both for his glory and for your soul. I don't know where Steve stood in his spiritual life, but for me, I'll renew my faith in God and ask his forgiveness for being such a wayward child.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and He delights in his way. Psalms 37:23


  1. Very well stated. You truly have a gift for expressing your feelings.

  2. What a wonderful tribute to what sounds like a wonderful man! I'm so sorry for your loss and grief Mel!

  3. I am so sorry for your loss.