This Smiley Face…

My accidental Facebook find brings back a nice memory of a friend.

I found out today that a friend/former co-worker died suddenly last night, the victim of a horrific car crash.  We met at work seven years ago, both newbies who started three months apart.  Over the years, our senses of humor and his various job positions brought him to my Secretarial desk.  We were on a committee together, we commented and like each other’s vacation photos, and we had the occasional Fitbit battle.

Jeff really was the genuine article.  I’ve been reading the posts that close friends of his have been sharing on Facebook, posting to his timeline.  These words were the ones he probably knew in life, but in death, we’re all seeing for the first time.  He was loved by those he knew, and for me, it was sad to know that my jovial, kind, and equally smartass co-worker turned friend has left us.

I was looking for something in my mobile uploads folder for a Retroist article, when I came across this photo from August 2015 of a smiley face drawn on a blue Post-It note.  I always keep colorful stickies on my desk.

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I had my sneaking suspicion that I knew who may have left this, but I wanted to see if I was right:

Screenshot (988) And then there was the comments:

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This is typical of my interactions with Jeff – he would always do something random and silly like this.  To me, it meant the world, and it spoke volumes of his character.  This was who he was, and to leave a random sticky note smiley probably doesn’t mean much to someone, but for me, who values the smallest details and littlest finds, it meant alot to me.

We never lost touch with each other – even if I didn’t see him much after he went to a part-time position, I’d still hear from him (he was part-time at the particular time he left this sticky), and he’d always look at my vacation/convention photos and send me hilarious weekly emails to report his Walking Challenge miles, always full of silly questions.  I know he also read my blog, and I’d always look at his photos from his yearly trips to California.  When I told him I was going to California for Christmas last year (my first time to the West Coast!), he was excited for me.

He left our agency for good in 2016, but I ran into him twice since that time.  One of those occasions was in late March of this year, while in the grocery store with my boyfriend.  We wound up having a 20 minute conversation – we discussed California, and Jeff said he was looking forward to visiting Universal Studios and going through The Walking Dead attraction (he loved it!).  The conversation ended with Jeff suggesting that we all go out to dinner one night.  I kept hoping to follow up on that, with summer now here.

Unfortunately, the evening of June 17, 2017 happened.  I never did make those plans.  Life gets busy, and we forget to make the plans.  There’s alot of us who would have loved one night more of plans with our friend.  A whole lot of friends lost their friend, and the agency I work for lost a member of the family.

I am comforted by the fact that Jeff was such a nice person and a good friend to all.  The memories that everyone who’d been around him are sharing show his true character and conviction was nothing but the best of what you’d want from someone in your life.  Though our paths crossed as co-workers seven years ago, we became friends quickly.  I’m grateful that happened.

I don’t have any photos with him.  We never took any.  But I am comforted that I have funny little notes and Facebook comments to remember such a nice guy for.

Jeff, you will be missed.  Thanks for the smile. 🙂

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