Sunday, April 8, 2007

NPR - Friends and loves

Recently I heard of the sudden death of a friend's husband. The woman was a friend at work whom I worked with for several years before I retired. I admired and respected the quiet friendship she offered me as we worked on content of the USGS's annual Water Data Report for Washington (see 2001 Water Year). She was the publication specialist and I was the data specialist with the responsibility of producing this volume.

I had to coordinate the production of the data from the field offices and projects and produce the data pages of the data for the report, and oversee the overall contents of the report, which meant, making sure everything that should be there was there and all in the right order including reviewing the maps for completeness and accuracy. She had the harder task of assembling it and putting it together for the draft and final reviews. If anything was wrong, it would be me who would answer for it and she and I would fix it. Sounds easy for many, but for 500-plus pages, you give it a try some day when you have 6 months to spare.

Well, she always had a wonderful sense of perspective and humor despite all the small things that had to be done and all the quirky people you have to deal with for their time and work. While we weren't always fast, we were the best at it, something management didn't learn until later volumes when management wanted it faster and sooner, and didn't mind mistakes, which happened with later volumes. Such is life in work where perspectives are misplaced.

Anyway, while I retired for a new life and career, she had a few years left to go. She is one of the few people I miss from work. Recently I heard her husband passed away. I am deeply saddened by her loss. I'm always at a loss for words when hearing about such losses. Death is part of life, in the news every day. It's only when it happens to friends we feel the depth of it's pain and hurt. I'm always reminded about this closing to a letter I found on a monument to World War II soldiers in the letters home, and know those that left us want us to know about their love.

I'm not sure what else I can say about her loss. I can only say I am honored for Ginger's friendship for the time we worked together and I wish her the best during this time of loss.

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