Told his wife he was going outside to bring in his trash cans, had a sudden, massive coronary, and was gone before his wife could reach him.
We’re all shell shocked here. You tell someone on Friday to have a good weekend, see you on Monday…. and that’s it. It’s so unreal. I feel like he’s on vacation…
… or at least I did until I walked by his station and they had packed up his things for his wife.
I talked to Tom so many times here and shared a lot of laughs, stories, and griping about our jobs. 🙂 I walk at lunch for exercise, and when I would do it around the warehouse in bad weather, he’d make some joke about picking up the pace. Some people here, though, worked with him for over 20 years or stood side by side with him every day, and they’re feeling it a lot worse than me.
Tom is a perfect example about how the good are gone too soon, and how unfair that is. I will miss him, his smile, his laugh, and his being a person who is there when you need him.
And if I feel that way, I cannot imagine what his family is going through. It’s one of the things that keeps going through my mind. That John could tell me he’s going out to his car to get something…. and that would be it. I’ve teased John in the mornings if I say “I love you” and he kind of mumbles or is busy doing something and doesn’t say it back. “What if this is the last time you see me?” I’ve said to him.
You think you’ll grow old together and look back on the life you’ve built that you couldn’t have done separately.
But what if….
The other thing that strikes me is hearing everyone who has even the smallest, good story about Tom. How they didn’t know him, but he heard they needed boxes for moving and brought great ones from our warehouse for them. How he sat at lunch and talked with them, how he had a smile and a story…. how he donated so much time, effort, and love to youth organizations, how he made a difference in this world.
It’s made a couple of us wonder: what will people say about us? My mom left behind decades of charity work, of reaching out and touching people’s lives, and helping people sorely in need. Tom leaves a legacy of his works too.
The few of us who talked about it joked “Oh no, I can just imagine what people will say when I’m gone!” But I know I’m wondering: what can be said about my life.
I can say this about Tom Graham, even knowing him the little bit that I did: he was a good man, a person who made a difference, and he’s really missed. He should have had more time and my heart goes out to all the people who are hurting because he’s gone.