Names changed, but otherwise true

A friend, Dwight, texted me last night: “Did you hear that Joe Ruger died of COVID-19?

I had a true stunned moment there: Joe was a long-time co-worker and always so good at his job that it’s just something I marvel at from time to time. But more pointed, to me, was the fact that Joe’s wife Lucy is a close friend of mine. Further complicating this is the fact that because of the professional turmoil from which I am just emerging after about a year, she and I are seriously behind on catching-up.

And now this? How am I even going to open a conversation with her about it? It’s not like I can go to calling hours at a funeral home, with the state in lock-down.

I need a source of wisdom greater than mine for this situation.

Meanwhile, outside my head: Dwight further explained that he heard about it from our mutual acquaintance, Pete, who in turn heard it had been announced at a town hall meeting of Greenhouse. Dwight and Pete both used to work at Greenhouse. Several of my other pals still do. But not, to my knowledge, Joe.

A spark of doubt/hope…

I asked Dwight, Wait, when did Joe join Greenhouse? Last I knew he was at AT&T. Dwight texted back, Not sure, let me check.

Half an hour later came this update: Oh, sorry, it was JOSEPH Ruger. Who worked at Greenhouse’s Oregon branch.

Now I feel bad for being so relieved… which is weird. The Oregon Rugers are dealing with a loss every bit as devastating as the Rochester Rugers would have been.

But I don’t know those Oregon folks.


Programming note: This would by rights be #WaltzWednesday. But today’s was to have been baseball-themed. I am putting that one back in the freezer until there’s some actual baseball….