Hallways

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I made a post on Facebook yesterday about something that happened the day before.  It received so much commentary that I thought it I should share it here as well.  Because it is related to an issue that happened at work, there are some of you who follow my blog who may know the person in question and/or know more about the circumstances.  I ask that if you choose to comment as well that you respect the privacy of this person and that of their family.  While some may reach out to me to ask for details personally, I hope you understand if that is information I don’t share – again out of respect.

That being said … the message I am sharing is more personal and something we all can share.

Here it is:

Yesterday, I walked into a plant for a short visit in prep for the rest of the week. While shuffling through the hallway, I waved to a guy that works in the offices. I knew him only in passing, where he supported a meeting a few weeks back and in one instance just last week I mistook him for someone else when he picked up the phone. I really didn’t know him, just that he was young and does a pretty good job for the people in that plant.
I learned a lot more about him today. What his hobbies were. That he had a young daughter. That he could be relied on to help someone out, to the point that he promised too much and had a hard time delivering on all the help he wanted to give. How he was well liked. How he was a part of a family at a plant I barely ever visit.
Of course, I write about him in past tense as we found out this morning of a tragic accident last night.
I don’t want anyone to say they are sorry to me, or to suggest this is a source of sadness that needs comforting. It’s unfair to those who knew him, were close to him, loved him, to suggest he was anything more to me than someone I interacted with a couple times at work – and to morn for me is selfish. Yet that moment yesterday when I gave him a wave is staring to etch itself into my mind. If I walked through that same hallway, I should have been able to wave to him today. If I did walk that hall, if he was there, I wouldn’t have thought anything about it.
I want that image to etch in my mind, because I need that reminder. For everyone who lives a long and happy life, there are some that leave us too quickly. As fearless and driven that we could be, it can be taken from us in the simplest of turns. It’s as easy for us to not think of what it means to be mortal – so we need reminder of the opposite. We need to do the opposite.
Don’t cry for the lost, smile for the living.
Get what you need and give what your getting.
Life is for the living, so live it.

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