Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Every once in a while, you have the opportunity to do something really wonderful for another person. I'm having one of those days, so I thought I'd share it.

I have a friend at work who I'll call Connie. Connie has only worked here for about 10 months, but it's been an eventful 10 months. Last summer, she lost both of her sisters on the same day - one to breast cancer, and one killed in a car accident. This was devastating to both Connie and her family, especially since Connie's mother was also killed in an accident, many years before. Within a month of losing her sisters, Connie learned that she too has cancer. Connie's cancer was advanced enough to require immediate surgery, which placed her on sick leave from work for many weeks. My company was amazing throughout Connie's illness - a fund was set up to assist with her medical bills, co-workers volunteered to clean her house, look after her dogs, rake the leaves in her yard, drive her to and from doctor appointments - the works. Connie was able to return to work last fall and resume much of her normal life, albeit without an appetite and having lost a pretty dramatic amount of weight. Still, she seemed in good spirits.

It's Connie's birthday today. Birthdays for her are special, magical days, and she's never worked on her birthday before. Due to circumstances around the office, it was necessary that she come in today, and work more than her normal shift - she'll actually be here for 12 hours today. She's been pretty depressed lately, both at the news that she needs yet more treatment for her illness, and that she had to spend this most special day at the office.

A couple of us at work who are close to Connie got together and planned a birthday for her. We decorated her cube with a "birthday balloon chandelier" and confetti, and left a couple of little gifts. Last night, I picked up two dozen roses, and we've arranged for 24 different people to randomly visit her today and each hand her a rose. It's not a lot, but it seems to have made her feel really good today. She told me that she's considering always working on her birthday in the future, because otherwise she would have missed out on being made to feel so special.

I know it sounds like bragging, but damn! We did good.

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