I am sending this special edition because this was on my heart, and I felt the need to share it with you.
A week ago, about 15 miles from my house a small plane crashed, killing the pilot and a UPS driver who was sadly in the wrong place and at the wrong time. That driver was just going about his job delivering packages. I didn’t know him, yet from all accounts of co-workers and customers on his route he was a very nice person, friendly, capable, and always smiling.
So why exactly am I telling you this? There are 2 things that I felt compelled to share with you.
First, a couple of days ago I was in a business when a UPS driver came in with a package. I walked up to him and said, “I’m so sorry for your loss”. He stopped and looked at me and with a sigh told me how much he appreciated that. He continued to tell me that he had had very few people offering their sympathy but that most people were making jokes. I Was Shocked and asked what they could possibly be joking about. He said it was mainly people saying things like “Watch out for the plane” and similar comments. OMG, instead of realizing that this man was grieving the loss of a co-worker (whom he knew), and thinking how easily it could have been him, he was getting jokes. How sad, inappropriate, and totally insensitive. He was so touched by my simple statement that he hugged me before he left.
I have wonderful people on my mailing list so I doubt that any of you would respond like that however, it is a good opportunity to remember the importance of thinking before we speak and the impact our words can have on others.
Second is this man was just delivering packages in a quiet neighborhood like he had done for many years and thinking about his retirement plans in the near future. Had he been a half-block away he would be alive today. Many years ago, I was married to a San Diego police officer. I was abundantly aware that he might not come home after his shift. Getting a phone call was bad and would mean he was in the hospital (and I did get one of those) but a knock at the door would mean I wouldn’t ever see him again. So every day before he left for work, I made sure that he knew how much I loved him. How about all the people that are not in high-risk jobs, like this UPS driver? Do their loved ones take for granted that they will see them again? You never know what day will be your last and so please make sure to tell the people you love how much they mean to you because you may not get another chance to do that.
Thanks for letting me share what was on my heart and mind.
Always supporting you, Jan