I've was able to take a couple days off from work (sort of), and when I got in today I was besieged with a ton of catch-up work. Such is the lot of the manager. About half-way through the day, I was sent a deceased client alert which I needed to attend to immediately. I've mentioned in the past that my clientele is an older demographic, so although it's sad, it's not uncommon to have people I know pass away. When I opened this alert, it was for a man in his early fifties named Nathan.
Nathan was always quick with a smile and so easy to work for and with. He usually never made an appointment, so when he needed something and I was with someone, he'd patiently wait in one of the chairs outside my office. I'd pass by to check in and he'd say, "No worries, I've got all the time in the world." He never walked into the office, always waited for me to let him know I'd finished up and was now ready for him. We had been working on a couple things to address his needs, so for a while there he would stop by each week. He'd tell me about his life, his collections (stamps and coins), how he was caring for his elderly mother. He had told me that he was out on disability from work due to an illness, but I didn't put two and two together. He was a little plump, and I thought it was just from a life well enjoyed and not from liver failure.
I learned today that he died 3 weeks ago. Too late for me to attend his funeral and offer condolences to a family that wouldn't know me from Adam. Instead, I sat in my office and stared out at the wind vigorously blowing the bushes and fall leaves around just outside my window. I thought about how very few of us have all the time in the world. I wondered if I had thanked him enough for his patience and for his stories.
The world is so unsure and unsteady right now, but this I know to be true. There are only so many days and so many minutes for each of us. Thank the people who do right by you, praise the light and the good, stand up for what you know is right, and don't be stingy with your love. Don't ever be stingy with that gift. It may not always be appreciated or reciprocated, but don't chance leaving this world without letting the humans you care about know your truth.