This is such, SUCH, a bummer but I think I need to get this out.
I just found out that an old co-worker died. He died several months ago, but I found out about it by boredom, snooping around on the internet. I found his facebook page and instead of just his name, it was followed by “memorial page” and then after frantic googling I found his obituary, stating his death as being in March.
I’m just shocked right now. This man was not just a co-worker, but a friend of mine. I started working at a small construction company when I was barely twenty-one and he was about forty-five at the time, a small man with an ever-reddish nose and a permanent grin on his face. He was hilarious, and had one of those laughs that was just contagious, whenever you heard it you wanted to laugh too, even if you weren’t in on the joke. He was a nickname type of guy, he had one for everybody. Mine was “Woodstock” because he had an image of me, long-haired hippie chick, peaceful and free-spirited. Our entire office started calling each other by their nicknames and we even had an official nickname board which needed to be updated every so often.
Whenever I was distressed at work, he was always there with grounded guidance and he was one of my favorite things about that job. I loved seeing him come down the hallway and always couldn’t wait to hear what he had to say. He made my two years at that company immeasurably better.
He had a great love for music and we had many a long conversation about it. When I told him that Jeff played he was overjoyed and often sent home music or videos with me for Jeff to watch. He’d ask me every so often about Jeff, wondering if he was “still pickin’ and grinning”. He was from Louisiana, which oozed out of his voice and was a great sense of pride for him. I learned all about Mardi Gras from him, proper Mardi Gras, not just the partying (although he told me about that too).
I left that job one summer, after management shifted and things got to be unbearable for me. He pursued other avenues as well, for the same reasons. He kept in touch afterward and when I got married I made sure to send him an invitation. His R.S.V.P. card was the fastest one returned and at my reception he was waiting for me with a big hug and an even bigger grin. The last time I talked to him he said that I needed to go ahead and become a mama, and then time sped by on warp speed and I never talked to him again and it breaks my heart I wasn’t at his funeral.
He was a good man, with a wife that he loved very much and three children that are way too young to have lost a father.
I’m remembering good times Andy, and I hope to see you again someday.