#MusicMonday – June 26, 2017

This week’s Music Monday takes on a personal tone.

This week is dedicated to a friend and co-worker who passed away unexpectedly on June 17, 2017.  I had already prepared Music Monday for June 19th by the time I had found out about his passing, but I wanted to talk about my friend and co-worker briefly, so you get the idea behind my song choice.

Jeff Weiss was a co-worker whom I’d had the opportunity to work with for six of the seven years I’ve worked for The Arc of Atlantic County in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey.  Jeff started working for us about three months after I did, so we were the new kids at the same time.  He made a few moves to different positions within the agency, and from full-time to part-time, then to a brief return to full-time before leaving in 2016.

I never lost touch with Jeff, and running into him was always a treat.  He was the genuine article – a kind soul with a great laugh, smile, and sense of humor.  He was connected to the community and was more than a co-worker to the many people he worked with – he was a friend.  Same holds true with the people I work with.  He was someone I never minded sitting with during a staff or committee meeting.  We always used to discuss vacations we were going on, he read my blog posts, and we had Fitbit battles – I bested him on a few occasions, and he would come surging from behind to kick my butt the next day.  Ironically, I was checking my Fitbit steps the day after he passed, and he was beating me by 15,000 steps.

Darn you Jeff!

One of Jeff’s things (and I’d come to find out that he did this with one of his supervisors) was to leave a smiley face drawn on a sticky note and strategically hide it.  For me, he left one sitting on my desk, and I kept it (after finding out who it was from, of course!).  I’ve had it on my bulletin board since 2015, and while it originally meant one thing to me, it now means a whole other thing – that I have someone looking out for me, as well as reminding me to smile.

Jeff had told me several years ago that whenever he read my blog articles, he could hear my voice in the words.  He had encouraged me to do some recording or possibly video.  I’m more content to hide behind my words and let them show my style and personality, and while I don’t necessarily enjoy recording, I’ve done some podcast recordings, so I’ve slowly tried leaving my comfort zone.  One of these days, Jeff, I’ll do my own full recording, and I promise, it will be because you encouraged me to do it!

So, long-winded stuff aside, my choice for Music Monday.

I decided a week ago that I wanted to dedicate this week’s Music Monday to Jeff, and while I could use some sappy song to express how myself (and everyone else) felt about him, I’ve decided that happier songs are the order of the day.

Yes, songs.  Plural.  Two songs!

The first song I chose is Mr. Blue Sky, performed by Electric Light Orchestra (or ELO as the kids call them), from their 1978 album “Out of the Blue.”  I’m convinced you can never go wrong with a song that was written after dark and misty weather gave way to blue skies and sun.  Jeff’s passing was the storm, but the memories (not to mention the blue skies we’ve had in the aftermath of his passing) are perfect to describe him and his personality.

The second song choice is You’re My Best Friend, performed by Queen, from their 1975 album “A Night At the Opera.”  Even though it’s about songwriter/bass guitarist John Deacon’s wife, I think we can all relate some of the lyrics to Jeff’s personality.

I hope you like the song choices as much as I did – this was an easy choice for me.

Thanks for your friendship and love, Jeff.  You will be missed greatly!

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