17 February 2007

A Tribute to Ray

Ray was a man I worked with for a little over a year and he passed away earlier this week unexpectedly. It's been a sad and numb few days as my work group mourns his loss and at the same time attempts to cover his duties until we determine the best way to either delay projects or find a replacement. The service is being held tomorrow and at this point it still doesn't seem real. We expect to walk past his desk and see him, or to have him stop by to chat a little before heading home. We remember stories he'd share of his children or how he had to coax his cat to come out and play. In times like this you remember the small things, how he brought in Pixar's Cars to let you borrow because you mentioned once in passing you'd like to see it. Or how every time he choose lunch it ended up being fish. Or how no matter how many times you worked with him on one particular program, it always seemed to get the best of him so he'd ask again. I guess for me what I feel is the worst is that none of those memories are as vivid as the memory of the instant I learned he passed away. I'll never forget how numb I was, or the phone call asking me to come to the conference room - when I knew what was going to be said. In that short minute walk, those thoughts were flowing through my head and I knew, I just KNEW - but even now I still am in some denial. How could someone I was talking to Monday, some one who was at work and normal on Monday, be gone now? It just doesn't seem right. I guess we all know it is part of life, that death is inevitable and unpredictable, and unfair, but its the one thing that no matter what else happens, it'll be there. And while I mourn, while we all mourn his sudden loss, I have the joy of remembering a conversation we had a short time ago, when he told me he enjoyed the chance to work with me and enjoyed knowing me. And as silly as it may be, knowing I made his life a little brighter makes me feel good and helps me through the grief a little easier. If nothing else, remember that little piece and use it - tell those around you how important they are to you and how you enjoy having them in your life. You never know when you'll run out of tomorrows.

Ray, this one's for you (written by my grandfather, Stanley Stefanski):

Passing through life is like a thread in a piece of cloth.
Some threads are strong others are weak.
Some are deeply colored to withstand time and weather while others are slightly tinted on the surface and fade at the least provocation.
Some are bright colored while others are dull colored, but each is beautiful to behold in a place all their own.
The most beautiful cloths are multicolored with colors that make an impression on all who experience the privilege of contact with them.
Since beauty is also expressed through the sense of touch, some cloths are soft and cuddly, while others are coarse and sturdy but each with its use in life – since one would not do in the place of the other in a specific need.
Some cloths remain in the memories of all who saw or felt them, all their lives because of the colors or feel.
Others are forgotten in accordance with the old motto “out of sight, out of mind.”

My only wish out of life here on Earth, is that as I go through life – just as a thread weaves through other threads to make a cloth – that the pattern I help to make will be preserved in the minds and souls of all I come in contact with.
I would like to be the colored thread that adds a bright spot to a sad place, like bright flowers in an otherwise dark forest.
I would like to be the touch of dark in an otherwise too bright area, which makes the difference between irritation or a warm, friendly atmosphere.
I would like to be the neutral color between bright and dark, so that each would be beautiful in its own way individually.
I would like to be the raised part of the pattern when it’s necessary for a rough texture, and the smooth part when it will enhance the pattern.
All this I would like so that when my thread runs out – God will say on my judgment day – “Every thread you touched while weaving the cloth was made better because of your contact with them which is life lasting.”

1 comment:

Margarita Valli said...

Truly beautiful tribute.