Monday, May 14, 2012


Today, as on most days, I found myself running from one meeting to the next. I was shuffling along, trying not to bump into the man walking in front of me, when I noticed him look left down a short hallway. At first he looked confused, but as I watched him do a double-take, smile and keep walking, I knew exactly what he was doing. The man in question was a colleague. The object of interest down the hall, his wife Sara.

Our company was founded by a young couple, and through the years, many more have followed in their footsteps. Partners, lovers, husbands and wives, each bringing new meaning to the expression "my work is my life."

Several years ago, we were graced with the presence of yet another young couple: Rob and Kasey Bromee. I knew them as one of us. We shared a few meetings here and there, but what I remember most were the reputations that preceded them. As individuals, they were well known around the office as incredibly smart, charismatic, helpful, and dedicated. As a unit they became known as pilars of hope, faith, and courage. Nearly a year and half after being diagnosed with Anaplastic Oligoatrocytoma, Rob Bromee passed away this weekend surrounded by the people he loved.

It was when I circled back to Sara's desk to share with her the secret moment I'd witnessed between her husband and her back, that I understood a simple truth: where we work, family means more than significant others. "Thanks so much for sharing," Sara said. "I really needed that today." I asked if she was OK, but I knew that she wasn't. None of us were. We'd lost one of our own. 

Sara and I hugged without saying too much. She went back to her work, and I shuffled off to my next meeting where I sat and thought about the things that really matter.

Those moments when we think no one is watching. The all-too-brief encounter with someone so special that they inadvertently change our lives forever. The people we love. The people that make us laugh. What else is there?

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