I got a phone call yesterday afternoon from someone I used to work with some 30 years ago. She called to tell me that someone we both had worked with back then died unexpectedly of a stroke she'd suffered a few days ago. Her name was Lisa. And although I rarely thought of her in the many years since, I have always cherished her for the gift she gave me shortly before I left the job.
She called me into her office and said she needed to tell me something. What she told me was that many of my colleagues were finding it difficult to work with me; that I was too full of myself, basically, and that I needed to chill out. She had more to say, describing a few incidents to show me what she meant. I sat there, stunned and embarrassed. She was blushing and quiet too as she spoke; it wasn't an easy thing for her to do.
She was right. I was all that and probably more. I was young and full of the arrogance a young person can have before they realize there are other people in the world besides oneself. I still blush thinking of our conversation for I still have moments of arrogance.
Many other things have happened since then to temper my temper and teach me how use my skills for good, but more, and very much because of Lisa, I am more humble and careful with people. She gave me a gift of a mirror, a mirror I still carry with me.
So today is a day of remembering Lisa and feeling grateful for what she did for me that day.
Gratitude is a powerful thing.
Requiescat in pace et in amore.