Bundled up with so many layers I looked like the Michelin tire man, I made my way to work to face the inevitable truth. Today was the last scheduled day for a man who had become my confidante. We shared a sincere interest in my each other’s professional life and physical and emotional health.
We passed the day telling jokes, offering each other help on stories and, of course, by sharing treats. And, for the first time in a long time, the day went by too quickly.
It was fitting that when he walked out of the newsroom for the final time, I was beside him. I was there when he began. I sat next to him while I trained him and learned his back story. This offered some comfort. Still, my head hung lower as I made my way to NY Penn Station.
As I stood, reading the comments from people wishing him well on line, I glanced over and saw a familiar face. There, on the ground at my feet, was the homeless woman who’d returned my wallet to me at the start of the holidays. I smiled at her and offer her money. But, she didn’t recognize me.
I knew that it was a matter of time before she would forget all about me while she struggled to survive on the street. I’ll remember her or my former co-worker/friend; they both changed my life.
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