Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sad Day...double over

Okay aside from the rainy days we have been having I have another funeral to go to...the first that I mentioned was for the husband of a longtime 4-H friend. I find it interesting how we compartmentalize our lives, for example I've known her husband for years peripherally as a guy with great dark humor who 'hung' around the fair but was DEFINITELY NOT a horse person...supportive of his wife and girls but not involved.

As I attended the funeral, which many, many people attended, I learned about a man I never met. His "job" downtown was actually as the Director of a huge government agency...a big deal. Yet not an iota of the importance of his position every filtered to his personal life or affected his personality. I find that amazing in this time where everyone tries to capitalize on who they know and rub elbows. Despite his ascension in the ranks, he never became 'government' he never forgot the little people and that his position was one of service...a mission to help those people.

I was sad to hear several years ago that he had Alzheimer's and had to quit this long time government job...and retire early. I remember calling their house and he would answer, say hello, I'd forget and ask him to take a message, and he would chuckle and respond, "I could take a message but I will probably forget where I put it and not remember that you called, so call back and leave a message on the machine...oh yeah, and if I pick-up again, tell me to hang up so you can call back!" And I think that is how he defined his life, he had disease that robbed him of his job and the golden years, but he faced it and found humor in it.

The other sad news was that a woman I worked with at NCBI (by far the best job I have ever had)...finally succumbed to an inoperable brain tumor. She was another person that touched many, many lives. She worked in Admin, but used her experience and contacts from the embassy to facilitate all the Visa paperwork that many of NCBI employees had to undergo...prior to her employees were regularly getting stuck in foreign countries after attending conferences or losing their status and being sent home unexpectedly...oh joy and fun!!! But under her was relatively smooth sailing. She was always ready with a smile and a joke. She took in stride and with grace a job where she was much more educated and cultured than any of her supervisors. She was so good to her family and definitely was the glue that made them so strong. Her sons have grown into incredible men that she can be very, very proud of.

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