Taken Too Young
I am sure we all have had this experience. A family member, friend, neighbor, colleague, business associate, etc., someone close to your age, passes away unexpectedly. Suddenly it puts life into perspective.
A couple of hours ago I got “that” call. One of business associates/vendors I had been working with passed away. Someone I’ve known and worked with for over 20 years, my age and he’s gone. Yes, he needed to lose weight. Yes, he smoked but to think I saw him last week and he was gone today. Reality just sucks on a day like today.
Even though we were not socially friendly, I will miss Brian every day I sit at my desk. I remember 20+ years, when Monarch was just a couple of years old, we worked on one of first full color jobs. FYI, today almost all our jobs are printed in full color, but 20 years ago full color printing was not as easy or cost efficient as it is today. We called Brian to help us through that process. It was the first on many times I would rely on his expertise and customer service to help us out.
Many years ago, one of my clients called me “the last of the old time salesman.” He appreciated the fact that I came running when he called. I did not (still do not) rely exclusively on email and the phone to take care of my clients. Brian was more than that. He was a mensch (especially for a big waspy guy). Always happy to stop by when called, always putting in that extra effort, always willing to share his knowledge when we had issues.
I never met Brian’s family but we constantly swapped stories about our kids. He knew that I loved college sports, so he was always keeping me up-to-date on his daughter’s track career at Villanova. I think it gave extra pleasure telling me these stories, while surrounded by Orange in my office.
Brian, you were taken from us too young. Once the initial shock of all this goes away, I will celebrate your life, all the time you helped me professionally and the stories we shared. Rest in peace my friend. Rest in peace.
Pre-Father’s Daze Day
Before I start this one, I have to get one thing off my chest. For all of you that put on social media or have posts written about you stating “I have the best father” or “happy father’s day to the best dad” or whatever best you’ve got, you can stop and read this post from January 2015: http://www.irasez.com/youre-the-best/
The Fears of My Father
This August, my dad will be 92 years old. He landed on the shores of France 72 years ago this month, shortly after D-Day and was part of the occupational forces in Europe serving in Patton’s army. He is a member of our country’s greatest generation and fought the war to end all wars…or so he thought.
21st Century Disease Names Daze
If you watch TV, you are constantly bombarded by ads for drugs that claim to treat a variety of ailments, most of which you have probably never heard of before. Where the hell do they come up with these ailments and diseases, and who the hell is sitting in a dark room somewhere figuring out what to call them?
The Sandwich Generation
The “sandwich generation.” A term I find myself using more and more, and a topic of conversation among my peers on what seems to be a daily basis.
For many of my friends who are anywhere between 40 and 60+, we are the sandwich generation. A thinly sliced piece of humanity nicely tucked between 2 pieces of familial bread. One of those pieces of bread is our parents, both of them if you are lucky. For many of us, that means an elderly parent(s), 80 years young and up. For some, their parents are snowbirds – they split their time between their home in the north and their other home in the south. For others, they have moved on to to warmer parts permanently. For me it’s the latter and it’s my dad, who will be 92 this August.
20 years ago, he “retired” to the Jewish Virgin Islands, a.k.a. Palm Beach County. His retirement lasted a few weeks before he started going stir crazy and threatened to move back north, which was not what my mother had planned. So off he went, in search of an accounting job, where he could continue his CPA career, which he found. Within a few months, he got his Florida certification and, until very recently, went to work almost every day. His major complaint during the summer and fall is that he doesn’t have enough work to keep him busy.
On the other side of our generational sandwich is our children. For Linda and me, that’s one in California and one who just recently moved to Brooklyn, to shack up with his girlfriend and his dog. Prior to that, he had been living at home for about 2 years, after graduating from SU in May 2014. He even went so far as to redecorate his room a few weeks after moving back home, which was a definitive sign that free room and board had it’s benefits. Now that he’s gone, I’m slowly converting his room into my home office (which will probably come as news to him).
Having an elderly parent 2-3 hours away by plane and a child 5 hours away by plane has added a whole other layer to our lives. We like to see them both as much as we can, which is a strain on us emotionally, physically and fiscally. AMEX points and frequent flier miles got chewed up pretty quickly the first couple of years that Allie was living in lala land.
For now, we do our best to go west and south as often as we can but sometimes the meat that makes up our little sandwich gets a bit too stretched . What I really need right now is a hero. Unfortunately my sandwich is more like peanut butter and jelly. A little thin, a little sticky, but in the end, even a good PB&J is better than nothing.