Can I Start this Year Over Again, Please?


Granted, I asked for some of this.

When we were negotiating the switch to a new position I told my new "boss" that I was so in search of a challenge that I'd probably quit to run a hot dog stand if it was offered to me.

But this?

I really really would like to start over.

Can we, please?

My daughter was married on January 5th. That was good.

On January 6 I flew home and arrived in the "old office" at 10am or so. One of the first messages on the answering machine was that one of my best clients had died while I was in Arizona. I missed the funeral, and sat there in shock. His name was Bud.

Then the phone rang.

It was my wife, she had just been paged with a 911 page to the number at her parent's apartment. She left work and arrived to find that her dad had died in his sleep. His name was Cornell, but he only went by Bud.

After the funeral came several weeks of chaos in our house, as her mother, suffering from dementia, moved in till we could find her some kind of nursing home.

Somewhere in the next couple of days, I got the call that another of my best clients had died. He and the first had been clients of mine for over 25 years. Not only are they my clients, they are my friends. He too had died while I was in Arizona, and I missed the funeral.

Over the next week or so I worked on getting ready for the "big move" which would mean that I would try and fit whatever I could into my new, much smaller office digs.

Somewhere in the transition weeks of January, I got another call. Client Bud's brother had died. Brother Hank was also a client, and good friend.

I went to the funeral.

Two days after the funeral my wife called and said that one of my son's hockey team-mates had just been orphaned at the ripe old age of 17. His mother had died after some kind of routine test in the hospital where my spouse works. His father had died about 5 years earlier of a heart attack.

I refused to go to the funeral.

Saturday I moved my office and while I was walking in and out between the moving van and my office I saw the "breaking news" headline on a television in one of the offices in the building. I was sick with the thought of more death. Somehow the streaks across the sky reminded me of flaming brutality.

January starts the hockey play off season. Did I mention that I leave the house frequently at 6:50 am and return at 11pm.

I don't surf the web at work.

My office window looks down on the "home rink" for my son's hockey game. That can be a good thing, but then not since a tired spouse can't ride along with me to the games when I stay at the office late. Hockey games for teenagers start around 9pm.

Last night after the game ended I decided to stop by the old office and check the mail and answering machine.

Can I start this year over please?

The message on the machine said that client Bud's wife had just died. The funeral is on Saturday, no funeral home, no lunch, the family just can't do it again.

I don't blame em.

For all of you who have passed on, friends and clients and riders in the sky, I will miss you. You are the rays of light shared with us in the twilight.