Today has turned out to be a very sad day. Today one of my co-workers found out his little brother was killed in a car accident out-of-state.
I’ve told you all this before, but we’re a small office in a big company. The main company is in another town about 60 miles away, so we’re pretty much on our own at this site. Here we have four people in the office, including myself, and at full staff 5 or 6 out in the shop. Although I do work for the entire company, not just this location, this is the main group of people I interact with. We’ve gotten to know each other pretty well and in many ways have become a family outside of our families. Many of you can relate. I mean, we spend more time at work than at home, in most cases!
Also, I am the only woman. Because I am older than all but one of these men, I am teasingly called “Mom” – by my husband. The guys here don’t call me that, but in lots of ways I do feel that way. Most all of them are young enough to be my kids! They often ask for advice or want to know how to do something that a woman would know and a man might not. I’m the one who doesn’t always clean the toilet, but am usually the one that suggests when it needs it. I’m the one they come to when they want to talk about things not going right or what do you think of this for a wife/girlfriend gift? I’m handy. I’m here.
This poor co-worker is pretty young – still in his late 20’s, so his brother was even younger. Married, with a new baby. My co-worker is very close to his family who pulled even closer this fall when his mother lost her second round battle with cancer. He has several brothers and sisters and they are spread out a bit, but based mainly in northern Missouri. When his dad called today to give him the news he was out of the office. The rest of us felt useless as we hovered around waiting for his father to call back later to tell him. We promised his dad we wouldn’t be the ones to break it to him, but that we’d be here for him – he didn’t want him to be alone when he heard. He and this little brother were closer than the rest and did many things together.
The call came when I was away at lunch. It was very difficult for the ones who were here to witness, knowing as they did what was going on. They didn’t make him say it, they told him they knew. Men can be supportive, even when they feel they are not being good at it. I work with a great bunch of guys and they all have marshmellow hearts. I’m lucky that way.
He’s gone home now. Home to talk to his wife and pack their bags for the long, sad, trek to Missouri. Our hearts go out to him…