Friday, September 18, 2009

Kind of a Downer

Today, while Addison ate her delicious lunch of turkey cheese dogs and goldfishies, I let my mind go numb by scanning Facebook.
Facebook is the devil - but I am hooked.
I have learned to limit my time on it, but the amount of time is sucks from me is astounding. I can go blind reading other people's useless information.
I was scanning who was eating what, and how everyone felt about Friday, and who jumped to the next level in Mafia Wars when I got slapped in the face by one update.
A mentor of mine's posting announced a memorial service for an amazing guy that I on occasion worked with in my previous life.

I had no idea that he had passed. At 37. Unexpectedly. The father of a one year old.

I ushered Addie off to her nap and then sat down to read about Joe. And everything I read reminded me exactly of the person I collaborated with. Full of energy, dedicated, motivated, passionate, funny and focused on bettering the lives of kids.
I sat a few more minutes, and then I wrote a letter to my old mentor (his former employer) with my condolences. I wrote a memorial check to his scholarship fund.

And I felt quietly sad.

Sad because he was an inspiring, intelligent man.
Sad because I barely knew him and thought highly of him - what possibly could his family and friends be feeling?
Sad because hundreds of children benefited from his spirit, but even more will never have the opportunity to know him.
Sad because remembering working with him made me miss my old existence - in the thick of the chaos, mess and joy of other people's children.
Sad because he had recently become a professor of social work, and had much to offer the field.
Sad because he had a one year old and a wife.

Sad because there is a shortage of amazing men in the world.

And it made me take stock of the amazing men I am fortunate enough to know. The men who come home and play with their children even though they are tired. The men who know a foot massage or a bottle of wine can brighten the day of their wife. The men who show up to work everyday during chemotherapy. The men who mow lawns at dusk, who grill dinner and who take bath time duty. The men who teach, who coach, who care.

I know that my mentor will honor Joe's spirit with her organization. I know that there are many children whose lives were changed for the better because of him. And I am sure that out there, somewhere, there are other men who are amazing and dedicated and motivated and passionate - just like Joe.


TKW said...

I'm in tears. I'm sorry for your loss and even sorrier for Joe's wife and child. The world just isn't fair sometimes.

ck said...

So beautifully written. Thank you for sharing something so personal. So real.

I'm sorry for your loss.