A few years ago I took a job I wasn't entirely thrilled to take, but knew it would help Husband (then boyfriend) and I make the move back to Birmingham and would add a nice line to my resume. It was simply a building block, a stepping stone, and nothing else. It was not a dream job and was certainly not a dream company. But as I began my position as sales and marketing rep for a physical therapy company, I was lucky to meet a physical therapist who would become a great friend. That physical therapist was Jessica. We became friends over the few months I worked with that company and relished our lunch breaks together until we each moved our separate ways professionally.
We have since attended each other's weddings and shared the joys of pregnancy and motherhood together. She is a wonderful person and her Ben and baby Catherine are going to have years of fun together. But this week, as she lost her father to a battle with melanoma, my heart aches for her and I am reminded once again how precious is our time in this world and how important are the friendships we not only make, but maintain and enjoy.
As C and I waited in line yesterday to pay our respects and hug the necks of loved ones, I looked around at the chapel full of family and friends her father had spent a lifetime acquiring. There were tears as to be expected, but there were also smiles as stories of reminiscence were being told all around me. As I hugged Jessica's mom and then Jessica, I was suddenly so grateful for an otherwise meaningless job a few years ago. Grateful that a job had brought such wonderful people into my world. And grateful that I could be there to celebrate the life of the man most precious to them.
There is little, if anything, that can be said to bring peace at such a difficult time. But I hope Gerald left this world knowing how dearly he was loved by so many. And I hope that we are reminded to love and appreciate the people in our lives every single day, however they may have entered our world.