It has been brought to my attention that my first three blog posts are about death. That was not purposed. It is the reflective season I am going through right now. I have now lost two people very dear to me in the last four weeks. My second post concerns my ex-boss, Robert Levin. A few days ago, I received word that a friend of mine, Jared, passed away.
Jared was one of the two best hires I made as manager of the inventory management and stock crew at Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center in Wheaton, MD. He and Frank (the subject of my book) had the same work-ethic. Jared was always on time, worked hard, and never complained. He was a quiet and polite man. Jared and Frank worked together for a short while before Frank became too ill to work. But it was not Jared’s work-ethic that makes his passing sad for me.
Jared and I spent a lot of time together working at the warehouse. After a while we began to confide in each other over personal matters. We knew we could trust each other in keeping our conversations between ourselves. We used each other as a sounding board for various personal issues we were having.
In the summer of 2012, I was living in an apartment under difficult conditions. Circumstances had become very tough for me to continue staying there. I had nowhere to go and my finances were limited because of these circumstances. I shared my frustrations with Jared.
A few days later, out of nowhere, he looked at me and told me he had talked to his mom and step-dad about my situation. They opened their home for me to stay there until I could decide what I needed to do. Their kindness was life-changing for me. I made plans for the move and within a week was out of my turmoil. It was during my stay with them, that I made the decision to move back home to be caregiver of my dad (91 years old) and mom (88 years old). I shared my decision with Jared and his parents and they affirmed that it was the right thing to do. I moved back home on September 1, 2012.
I have stayed in touch with Jared and his family since then. Whenever I drove to Maryland, I would stop by and talk to Jared. On December 2, I drove up for a visit. I stopped by the warehouse where Jared and I had a great conversation outside on the sidewalk. He was happy and was looking forward to the New Year. We talked about the loss of Robert (one of the owners) and the changes it might bring to the store. I peeked into the warehouse and saw that it was in the same excellent order it was in fifteen months ago when I left. It brought a smile to my face. We said goodbye and I went on my way. I am grateful I had that conversation with Jared and spent time with him before he left this life too soon.
Within twenty-one months I have lost three people that made a significant impact on my life. Though it is not healthy to dwell on death or be overcome by grief, their lives are an important reminder to me as to how precious this life is, how fragile it is, and how important it is to live in the now and let tomorrow worry about itself.