I had a long, intensely-focused, 10-hours at work today, grateful for the necessary distraction. This included working at hyper-speed and accuracy with my main partner before and after break, being used as a training tool for at least a dozen new trainees, then switching to training a helper, taking a half-hour lunch, switching to a new newbie, who could only work until 5:30, and is abruptly swapped-out mid-task for a new freshly-trained human, or an FTH. Who happened to smell, sound and act in the manner of Tina. For the last 1-½ hours I sat shoulder-to-shoulder next to a woman whose clothes and hair smelled like Tina. Her brunette hair was the same length and tousled style. She wore similar clothes. Her voice held the heavy, familiar accent of the smoker, also Tina’s, at once nasal and husky. She plowed over a couple mispronunciations without shame or care, self-deprecating, non-apologetic, (FTH told me bluntly she was tired and hungry), and laughing. We bonded in moments.
I held on until we were through with our work, 3 minutes ahead of a hard deadline of 7PM. Then I told her about Tina’s death anniversary, and she hugged me. She cared and let me know she did, from her core; the way the really good humans do. The way Tina did.
As I was saying goodbye to one of our runners, I explained the hug. Her face grew furrowed in compassion and she conveyed her empathy. She then told me, “I don’t know how religious or spiritual you are, but she was placed with you for a reason. Your sister-in-law wanted to let you know she was here with you today.” I get goose bumps typing it even now, as I did when she spoke in her warm, Sunday school-teacher voice.
Now is not the time to share my beliefs and/or disbeliefs. But I like the thought of Tina hanging out with all of us who knew and loved her today.
“It's those changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
With all of our running and all of our cunning
If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane”