Looking Beyond the Police Tape

Yesterday was a bad, horrible, no good, rotten day. It started off with a tragedy and went downhill from there. As I pulled into the parking lot I noticed several police cars parked in one area with their lights flashing. This is not in itself unusual. The Security Police do periodic sweeps of the parking lots writing tickets for improper parking. It is the beginning of the academic year and there are lots of students who try to sneak into the Faculty/Staff lot. But it wasn’t just a couple of police cars. There was a fire truck, several bigwigs from HR (easy to spot as I’ve met them at various functions), a hand full of big shots from Risk Management & Safety (I know all of them because we interact on a regular basis), and a few “suits” who might have been PR/general counsel. They had cordoned off the sidewalk, parking lot and one lane of the nearby street. What really caught my attention was the big black screen erected around a car. I’ve seen the screen used before. It is to shield the person(s)from public view as the paramedics work. Seeing as there was no ambulance and no discernible medical personnel, I concluded that the “victim” was beyond help. Within an hour the news was relayed – one of the housekeepers had passed away in his car. He was a 30 year employee aged 57 who was diabetic. He hadn’t been feeling well and decided to go sit in his car. He worked in my building and I would see him in the mornings taking the recycling out and would hold the door for him. The staff working in the basement saw him daily as he maintained the floors. Then other things happened that made me sad and mad and are fuel for a rant on another day.

Yesterday’s tragedy highlighted the brevity of life. We have a finite number of heart beats allotted in our lifespans. I couldn’t help but think that maybe, just maybe, I am not using my remaining time in ways that make me happy. I do feel that I’m making a difference. I know that what I do is valuable and necessary. But life is too short to be unhappy. And right now I’m miserable. I’m not going to do anything hasty but I am going to look at my retirement portfolio, do some calculations, and start on “the plan” to keep busy in retirement.

17 thoughts on “Looking Beyond the Police Tape

  1. There is something about having to face the unexpected death of someone we know that grabs our attention regarding the brevity of life like little else can. Praying that you can discern, and have the courage to take, whatever steps are needed to help you live life to the full.


    1. Thanks Bonnie! Already there is a new face in the building. Seems there wasn’t even a hiccup in the work schedule. We are waiting to hear when the funeral will be held so that we can send flowers…


  2. I saw something recently about a young kid (26, I think?) who died because he couldn’t afford his insulin. That is obscene.
    I’m sorry about the loss of your co-worker. How awful for him.
    It does put life in perspective. Do what you gotta do.


  3. Life is short. If the “valuable and necessary” thing doesn’t make you happy, it’s time to reinvent. I’m sure you must be glad you took the time to say hello to the man and hold the door for him… kindness is never wasted. 🙂


  4. I’m so sorry. It’s always traumatic to encounter something like that, and we can’t help but examine our own lives when faced with proof that life can, and does, end in very unexpected moments. Take care.


  5. Planning for the future is always a wise thing to do! You have many interests and talents so know you’ll be fine! It will be time for you to get your book on all the different kinds of poems ready for publication!n What a wonderful text or reference book that would be! Don’t sell yourself short dear sweet daughter of mine. I may be a fan of yours but that position is not without reason…..remember, I do have a couple of college degrees and am old and wise also! In other words, “Pay attention to your mama!”


    1. I don’t discount your advice or scoff at your suggestions. However you do have a natural bias that can’t be ignored… I’m really considering retirement. It will depend on the sweetness of the deal they will offer. I have to wait a couple of weeks before they reveal the plan.


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