I found out that a friend passed away today. Maybe not a friend by the standard definition. We did not hang out together. I never knew the name of his daughter. I don’t think I ever spent a minute with him that was not in one of our respective offices. He was a colleague and a customer.
Yet I find myself very saddened by the news. I enjoyed every moment I spent with him. If ever there was a man with joy in his heart it was him. Always a big smile. Always a joke to end the meeting. Even when he was grinding me on a price it was always with a “do it for the kids, Mel” and a twinkle in his eye.
He was a small island of sanity in a sea of conflicting priorities, lack of resources, and over-stressed coworkers all trying to meet seemingly unrealistic expectations. I always admired and appreciated his ability to make a quick decision and his tendency for expediency over politics.
So even though I am what others might consider to be only an acquaintance, I feel as though I lost a friend. Maybe everyone who ever met him feels the same.