Tuesday, April 09, 2013
I have been particularly down for quite a while about things at home and work and just my life in general. I think everyone has asked themselves at least once if your life has ever touched anyone in a positive way. Does my life have any meaning other than my day to day existence? Do I make a difference?
I went to a birthday party for a co-worker today. I have only known him a couple of years, and not real well. He has been the caretaker for where I work for forever. He turned 80 today.
Often, he comes into my office to chat - sometimes about business, but mostly just to chat. On particularly cold days, he will come and sit on the radiator in my office to warm his butt and hands. Everyone sees him as a used-to-be a nice person long time ago, but is a real crab to be around now kind of guy. For the most part, people find him irritating. We get along okay. I might see him for a few minutes once or twice a week.
Since he has been around for so long and really does a great job (just the attitude upsets everyone) the office decided it would be appropriate to acknowledge his age and service (all volunteer), in spite of the fact they did not like him much. Of all who knew about the impromptu party tonight (dinner at Logan's Restaurant) only six of us were present - including him - not a lot of representation and acknowledgement for years of dedication and truly a great job well done.
We arrived at the restaurant ahead of him. When he saw me, he said he was absolutely floored that I was there. And he said it more than once throughout the dinner, but I didn't understand why he would be so surprised I would be there. After all, I do work with him - sort of.
As we were leaving, he made a point to give me a hug and kiss and tell me that he felt we had a special friendship and was so happy I was there to celebrate his birthday. He was really and truly excited that I was there. Me. Someone who only spoke to him briefly a couple of times a week and allowed him to cuddle up to the warmth of my radiator when he was chilled. He looked at me as his close friend.
Before the dinner, I had another affirmation of friendship that was similar to the one I just described, but it would take too long to explain that one.
I was floored by the comments of both these people today. I am grateful for the sincerity and the words and warmth in which they were spoken. They had no idea how much I needed that. And I had no idea they even noticed my existence outside of that I work with these people.
The point - we should never pass up an opportunity to let someone know they add to or make a positive difference in our lives - no matter how small it may be. These few brief seconds of affirmation that I have touched someone in some way means the world to me.