December 23, 2008

December 23, 2008
The Loss of A Co-Worker But Not of a Friend

Thank you for joining me in another day of my life. I hope you are having the best of holiday seasons and safe journeys whether they are near or far.

We have had a dip in the temperatures here in north Florida with the lows near freezing. But the weather is nothing compared to many places in the country. Many cities have power outages and massive snowfall amounts. The closest snow has come to us here in Jacksonville is up in north Georgia and New Orleans to the west of us.

I have been home all day because of another bad headache. Not sure what triggered this one but it is a whopper. Could it be sympathy pains for the economy? Maybe.

They just recently released the monthly job loss reports and almost a quarter million more Americans joined the unemployed ranks. But nothing touches us as much as when it happens to us or someone we care about in our lives.

I just found out a very good new friend of mine is not getting her contract with AARP renewed. Lindsey and I had already talked about the possibility of it happening since AARP like all companies is experiencing the effects of the economic depression.

Lindsey and I first met almost two years ago after I had gotten in contact with the national office in Washington DC. One of the things I was asked to do was help with local and statewide events promoting our initiative. One of the first people I met locally was Lindsey.

At first I was a little surprised since Lindsey is still young. Now remember "young" is a relative term. I am quickly approaching 50 so anyone under 35 or 40 is young to me. And since the representative I was meeting was with AARP, I was naturally expecting someone 50+ so it was a surprise when she was under 30.

But as with youth, age is just a number and not a true portratit of a person's passion, desire, professionalism or drive. Lindsey may still be "young" in my world but she already has all those qualities.

Some of the qualities I am sure were instilled by her parents. The rest came from her education, church and civic involvement.

We have traveled all over Florida together and had many opportunities to talk and learn about each other. We had very similar childhood experiences so we understood each other from the start. Being a gay man with HIV and AIDS, I know I am not everyone's dream of a travel partner. Lindsey always made me feel welcomed and appreciated. It is always a relief to be working with someone you enjoy being around.

I know Lindsey will go on to do many great things in her life. She has just began a new life as a married woman this past year to a great guy. This is just the end of one chapter so she can start another.

I will enjoy looking back twenty years from now when I get a Christmas card from her and thinking back to the great times we spent together in 2007 and 2008.

So to Lindsey, here's looking at you kid. Stay in touch. Ya know how to whistle don't ya?

Now go out and conquer the world and make your mark!

Wishing all of you health, hope and happiness.

Happy Holidays!

Big bear hug,

Daddy Dab