For Nadine Curry:
When I die, I want to have lived. I want people to have known me to be a courageous, creative and loving person. This week has been a paradigm shifting one for me. It seems like every single news story has been about a tragic death of some sort. The bus crash in California that impacted people I know and killed several including a beautiful, recently engaged couple. I can’t stop thinking about what their plans for the future were. How they were simply giving back to their community by serving as chaperones for a college tour and their lives were cut short. I don’t even want to think about the teenagers who were on the bus, it’s all too depressing…
Now on to another tragedy. I once worked part-time as a receptionist at a furniture design center and dealt with numerous personalities as I served, both, customers and interior designers. Anyone who’s ever worked in a retail setting knows how stressful it can be. Oftentimes salesmen get tired of dealing with customers thus making it difficult for a receptionist to establish a seamless rotation. Thankfully, there was Nadine, an interior designer whose positive attitude never faltered. Out of all my days there, I cannot recall one time when she refused to take a new customer because she was too tired. She worked diligently and her clients loved her for that.
Nadine didn’t work on Sundays, those were reserved for church. When work became stressful she talked about how she couldn’t wait until Sunday to “refill her spiritual glass” and come back to work refreshed. I admired that. As a person who is a habitual complainer, I admired Nadine. When I decided to resign from that job one of the worst parts was leaving Nadine for I knew I would miss our Saturday chats. She wished me well and gave me a necklace with a note that read “Good luck Alex! I’ll miss you.” This gift came after she pulled my name for Secret Santa a few months prior and got me the most beautiful vase ever since I had recently moved. She gave such thoughtful gifts.
Fast forward to yesterday, it’s been about three months since my last weekend at that part-time job. I don’t get out much, but a friend was in town and I wanted to show her around. Since we were near my old job I decided to stop by and say hello to everyone and check on Nadine especially, but unfortunately her car wasn’t there. I assumed she was out on a home call or maybe her husband had dropped her off at work. Three minutes after my arrival, I heard news that made me wish I’d decided not to come.
About a month ago, Nadine went home from work early because she was having trouble breathing. Soon after she was diagnosed with lung cancer. She died last week and her funeral is tomorrow. I am in utter disbelief. I can’t stop thinking about how unfair this is. How can a person who’s light shined so bright have it dimmed so soon? Life is so short and you never know when it will end. As sad as I am about what happened to Nadine, I can honestly say that she left a mark on me. She lived a life loaded with positivity and I will never forget her. I will not only cherish the vase and necklace she gave me, but the intangible gifts as well.
Rest in Peace, Nadine. Thank you. For everything.
What if you died today? What would people say about you? Are you living the life that you dream of? If not, what are you doing to accomplish your goals?