Monday, June 13, 2005

Good-bye, Sam...

Thursday was a bittersweet day. It started out quite happy. It was my birthday, and for the past four months, I’d been dreading it. But once it finally got here, my whole attitude improved. After all, as too many people kept pointing out to me, getting a day and a number older was better than the alternative. Yeah, yeah, yeah…like I hadn’t already been telling myself that!

I walked in to a beautifully, thoughtfully decorated office, courtesy of my terrific department mates. Tons of balloons and streamers and banners…how could one not smile at all that! And then they all took me to lunch. We had a really, really fun time.

Upon returning to the office, the brutal reality of life reared its ugly head. I had an instant message from a gal I work closely with on a review site we belong to asking me if I’d heard the news about another member: Sam. It’s not good, she added. I immediately signed on to our posts-board, and found out that Sam had passed away suddenly. Needless to say, I was stunned. I had just corresponded with her the day before. She was so young, she hadn’t seemed ill.

As numbness began to replace the shock, one thought kept reverberating through my mind: man, I am so glad that Sam and I had buried our differences and had started really forging a very nice working relationship.

It hadn’t always been that way. We didn’t dislike each other at all; we just didn’t always seem to get along. I always fully appreciated how hard she worked on the review site; how many hours she unselfishly put in; how she wanted to make everything perfect. But there were times, when quite honestly, she really annoyed me…as I am sure, without a shadow of a doubt, that I really annoyed her. But then, after the fur settled a bit, we always moved on, no hard feelings…until the next fray.

When she volunteered to publish the photos for interviews (I am the coordinator), most of me was absolutely thrilled. I knew they would look awesome. A teeny bit of me was terrified that she would overwhelm me, but I figured that I’d cross that bridge if it happened.

The first month (April’s), she spent two solid days on them. And they were beautiful. And what was even more wonderful was we finally really understood each other. We finally had a chance to email back and forth to each other over common ground…we could complain to each other, we could commiserate with each other, we agreed with each other. I knew then that we would never have the rough patches that we’d experienced before again.

Three days before she passed away, she published the second month’s photos. I had no idea that they’d be her last. I can’t express how sad I feel over her death. I never met her in person; I don’t even know what she looked like. I do know that she was way too young to go; that she had way too much to accomplish yet.

And I know that her passing was rather a reality check…there is not a minute to waste. There is not enough time put off the things we keep thinking we’ll do tomorrow or the next day. And most importantly, there is no time like the present to forget differences, to tell people you care about them, to do it now and not wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow might just be too late.

I am so glad that Sam and I had the opportunity to get to know each other better, and to appreciate and like each other. I will miss her a lot. And she is one person, even though I cannot honestly say “I knew her”, I can honestly say I will never forget her.

Good-bye, Sam. You are really going to be missed.


Losing a person in one's life, even a person not known but for a bit of life, is a tough one. You wrote a warm presentation of her and hopefully, reminded all of us the importance of getting the important stuff done.

That was lovely, Brooke. Sam certainly will be missed - is missed - and I know that she would be so pleased with what you've written here. (((hugs)))

Those were beautiful sentiments expressed, Brooke. I'm so glad you and Sam knew each other. I'm glad to "know" each of you also. Life is definitely short and we should all live each day as if it were your last one. We never know.