Saturday, April 08, 2006


Gone Too Soon

Spending so many of those all-important "youth" years in the family that was my old work place of many years ago, a strong bond was formed with many of the employees. That is why is came as such a shock to learn that an old co-worker, Sharon, passed away suddenly on Monday at the young age of 56. For the six years or so that I worked at that store, Sharon was my department manager. Considering it was a manager/managee relationship, we really got along more like old friends.

A fond memory I have of our interaction is when on many occasions I would call her "Mom" in front of customers. Considering she was all of 16 years older than me, it really got on her nerves...but in a good way. "Stop calling me that!" she would reply with a laugh. So it came to be that I often referred to her as "Aunt Mum".

Sharon was a woman who didn't have an easy path in life. She was a divorced woman who worked her whole life and made a lot of sacrifices in order to raise her two kids and provide what they needed. I saw her son and daughter grow up through the years that I worked there. I hadn't seen them in about 16 years since I left the store. They are so grown up now. They are nearly the same age as their mother was when I started working with her. Those kids were her pride and joy, and I'm sure she was the typical doting grandmother with her son's two boys. When I saw her son at the funeral home, I told him that he and his sister meant the world to his mother. I told him that she was always talking to people about her kids. He laughed. "Ya, like 'what have they done now?'" He and his sister both have their mother's sense of humour. That's probably one of the greatest gifts that she gave them. There was so much laughter in their house, despite the usual trials and struggles of raising a family.

Those of us who knew Sharon can't forget her distinctive laugh. I remember so many times the old gang from work got together after work for a drink, or celebrating at one of our countless dances. It was inevitable that Sharon would get into a laughing fit, usually fueled by another co-worker who's laugh was just as infectious. I really miss that sound. On one occasion, I was in the company of Sharon, her daughter and her sister. They ALL had that same laugh. It was almost frightening.

Last night I met up at a local restaurant/bar with a few friends before going to the funeral home. We celebrated Sharon with a few drinks and a lot of laughs. It was nice to see so many old familiar faces at the visitation last night. There are, as often happens in the retail business, a lot of new faces as well. But still, they are all people who worked alongside Sharon. They all have their own memories. I just can't help but think that mine are just a little bit better.

Nice post to Sharon. She sounds like a lovely person.
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