Bringing in Spring

When it comes to my business, people ask me what makes me stand out.  One reason among many is that I keep my clients.  When I say I keep my clients, I work with them for a long time and/ or stay in touch and/ or they come back.

A few years ago a person who had just retired received one of my gift certificates from a donation I had made.  I don’t remember the event I donated to and I didn’t ask when they called me.  The certificate landed in their hands when they needed it because they needed a resume done.

I met with them.  I remember the night because I was wound up and stressed out and they could sense it.  They also were eyeing me carefully as I started with usual round of questions.  I spent three hours with them.  They paid me for the other two that I hadn’t donated.  I didn’t even have to ask.

They got upset because I switched something by accident.  I fixed the mistake and all was well.

They called every once in a while.  Yet I also got the sense things weren’t going well.

The last time I heard from them was sometime last spring or summer. They said they needed help with a letter and I said call me when they were ready.  They never called back and I didn’t think much of it.

So life can be weird.

A little over a week ago I went to an event out of my usual ways of travel.  I passed the place where I had met my client I talk about above.  I said to myself that I wonder how they are doing and I kept driving.

This past Saturday I was at a life-cycle event and there happened to be a newspaper in the lobby of the building.  I miss getting newspapers.  There is something pleasurable about sitting there and reading them.  I picked up the already well-thumbed through paper and the first page it opened to was the obituary page and their name was the first thing I saw.

They had died the same day I passed the place where I had met them.

I’m grateful I was able to make the funeral today.  Like in many cases, I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to say good-bye in person.  Had I known they were sick, I would have gone to visit.

One of their relatives spoke and said how this person said they would bring in the spring.  And they did.  In a packed house of worship with the snow melting outside and the sun shining brightly on the day of equal day and equal night.

I only knew this person briefly but as others spoke I realized they are the type that even a few minutes with them and they are memorable.  I also realized we had more in common than I first knew or had the chance to ask about.

As much as I am saddened and their family is saddened, there was love there.  And a sense of peace and accomplishment.  Some days I don’t get that much and I don’t find that in many situations I am in and many places I go.

Being there was an honor.  I am also grateful for the experience and that even if they didn’t know it in the physical plane, they have taught me as well.

Thank you, wherever you are.


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