Thursday, March 26, 2009

now playing left field in the great big ball park in the sky

a co-worker and teammate of mine passed away at the end of last week. I've been waiting to find out more information before I posted. His name was Jon, and we called him "JB." I also knew him from working with him on a water development team at the beginning of my job. He was a cooooool guy. Very positive, very on-an-even-keel, very mellow. And awesome at softball.

We didn't have a season last year, but I'm a member of Toxic Waste. We are a crazy bunch of people, let me tell you. It started out as engineers and scientists (hence the name) but expanded to include a huge variety of work folk--people in media and computers and safety and econ and our core group of sciency nerds. Our team is now the team that's been around the longest in the league--20+ years at least.

And anyway, he passed away very suddenly. He went into the hospital and within ten days he was diagnosed with cancer and passed away. His wife sent out an email telling us about his final days, what happens, about his 10 and almost 12 year old daughters, and about how they'd been married for 20 years and grew up together for 8 before that.

But there is one part of this that just really makes my heart so sad every time I think of it, and it's this part that made me want to share it with y'all, because there is such an AMAZING example and lesson to be learned here.

On the morning of his passing, he was able to coherently speak to his wife and daughters, and told them how much he loves them, and how wonderful they are, and how proud of them he was. I cannot think of anything much more moving than a father, knowing he has hours to live, gifting his children words that they will treasure for the rest of their lives.

I guess it's the embodiment of that now trite saying of "what would Jesus do?" It was the most selfless thing. And it was precisely what his daughters needed. And I can't even fully explain it, but it just blows my mind, and I consider myself lucky to have known a man like that. I think we could all learn a little something from his story. :)

His memorial is tomorrow evening, and I plan on going, and the team also wrote something on his legacy page. And here's a team picture--he's the one in the orange.

Just wanted to share.


katandkarl said...

this is a very concise and classy post. thank you for sharing this story. it touched me. i think grieving about people you sort-of know or aquant. is very valuable. my prayers are with his family and babies. 10 days. wow.

Lisa said...

As a fellow member of the toxic waste, I whole-heartedly agree with everything Carrie said. He was a really great guy. Reminds you to treasure every day.

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