Like a Ton of Bricks

Walking into work today, I ran into a co-worker I hadn’t seen in years. We greeted each other with respective, “You still work here?” glances. I noticed, however, her demeanor quickly turned to one of distress. She went on to tell me that a co-worker, a mutual acquaintance to us both, had passed away unexpectedly.

I didn’t know Tom Nott well. I knew of him and had been on conference calls with him in the past. At that time, I was managing a team of database administrators in one organization. Tom worked for a DBA team in another organization. Within the confines of our building, we ran in the same circles, but I wouldn’t say we were friends.

53 is too young to be called back home to God, and I find myself somewhat speechless as a result of the whole situation. So in remembrance of Tom, I would like to share the words of Peter Mayhew (no, not the guy who played Chewbacca in the Star Wars films), a mutual friend to Tom and myself who was part of Tom’s team way back when.

I lost a friend today. His name was Tom and he was 53. He was a good husband and father and a very smart man. Our cubes were next to each other for a few years back when I worked for Verizon.

Every Friday I would invite him to lunch, and every Friday he would politely decline. It was somewhat of an ongoing joke between us. It took about a year before he finally broke down and would occasionally join us, and even then it was only on rare occasions.

I’m fuzzy on the details but I’m pretty sure he was there when my little Peyton was born because our daughters shared the same birthday. It’s funny. There are things I do to this day in conference calls that I learned over the wall listening to him. I could still probably do a DB2 interview from hearing him correct the person he was talking to.

He was my office neighbor when Anissa had her first stroke and Peyton was diagnosed with leukemia. We weren’t very close at all, yet we would keep an eye on each other for a few years and stayed in touch after I left Verizon.

With all that said, friends, life is short. None of us are getting out of here alive. Hug those you love daily. Reach out to an old friend. Make a new one. Focus on the stuff that really matters.

Very well said, Peter.

Rest in Peace, Tom. May the Holy Spirit provide your family with guidance and comfort in this time of grief.

Life Is
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