Thursday, August 21, 2008

Life is short...

Pears #2 - Ink Pen & Wash

It is odd that I was only thinking this week about my time at my old job.  This morning I got a call from my distraught sister to say that my former boss, Michael Whetton, had passed away last night a few short weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.  We are very sad - this man gave all three of us (my dad, my sis & I) positions in his company, which in one way or another changed the course of each of our lives.  

My Dad began a new career with Freemans at the age of 49, a difficult thing to do in this society which values youth over wisdom.

I was offered a job at Freemans the following year, bringing me and my family back to Wollongong after nine years in Tamworth.  Within a short time I was Admin Manager and had many opportunities that wouldn't otherwise have come my way.  It is 5 years now since Michael sold his business and I left Freemans, but I stayed in touch through my family and occasional chance meetings.

In 1998 when Wollongong suffered from terrible storm damage and the insurance assessment business was under intense pressure, I asked my 17yo sister to come in and help out during the crisis.  Sarah slotted in like she was born to it, and within a year or so became indispensable as Michael's secretary/personal assistant/right hand.  Sar stayed in touch with Michael and continued to do his ironing each week (she likes to iron - bizarre) until 3 weeks ago.

Tonight (admittedly aided by a glass of red wine) my mind keeps going fondly back to those mornings in the office when I'd start early & bring the kids to work with me for an hour before school.  Michael delighted in ruining Adam's teacher's day by filling the 5yo boy with chocolate biscuits so he began the day on a sugar high :-)  

So tonight I'm saddened by the loss of this man, and reminded that life is short and fleeting - we must grab it with both hands and wring every precious morsel from each moment.

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