I once worked with such a wonderful young spirited girl named Carrie. We quickly bonded and, in spite of our age differences, found we had so much in common, especially a love of laughter in our lives! We both worked in the high pressure business of printing and promotional products working with large corporations that wanted everything yesterday. We worked diligently, long hours and lots of stress and yet, still found time to share parts of our lives with one another.
Carrie had grown up in Middle Tennessee where I was a northern girl. When we started working together, she was a newlywed. Yes, she had just come back from her honeymoon and within weeks was interviewing and then offered the position. She worked as my customer service/project manager/back up sales person and did everything needed to help me be successful from making collection calls, to invoicing, trouble shooting, etc… I lost count of how many times I said to her “I would not want your job if it was the last job on earth!”
When I left that position, we remained in contact with each other. We kept communicating so we would know what was going on in each other’s lives. Never did a phone call or email slip between us without the words I miss you and I love you expressed.
I look back with fondness remembering the stories she shared, her husband’s surprise Christmas gift their first married holiday together, her first purchase for the new home. A beautiful couch she agonized on the perfect color combination to get and then went on to trying to decide what color she should use for throw pillows. She put her decorating questions to the test by asking each of us in the office our thoughts. Naturally, all being women, none of us agreed which only served to add more stress to Carrie’s decision! Her husband Greg was not into this sort of thing. I think his only requirement was to not incorporate pink!
The marriage had its usual share of ups and downs, misunderstandings, joy, laughter and tears. But over time this couple built a strong solid foundation upon which they were excited to bring a child into the picture. Greg had an adorable son from a previous marriage that Carrie spoke so fondly of also. She knew, after watching Greg’s parental skills with this young son, he would indeed make a wonderful partner for raising a child with her in the future.
Fast forward to present day. Carrie is eight months pregnant with a little boy soon to come and add laughter and mischief to the household. Baby showers are happening, friends are talking and getting excited. The world is waiting for that special moment, the miracle of birth.
In the real world, dreams sometimes get shattered in a way only God truly understands the whys. This story indeed has a major fork in the road. Greg went on a motorcycle ride the other night and did not make it home alive. His spirit will live on in his son and the son due in a month. His love will live on in his darling Carrie and all of us that are blessed to know Carrie, our wonderful spirited bubbly friend. But for a moment, the world will stop just long enough tomorrow and on Thursday to reflect on this young man’s live and family.
Greg, we thank you for your contribution to this world. We thank you for making our friend Carrie spill over with delight at your presence in her life. You had the ability to make her eyes light up with excitement and the rest of us were slightly envious with what we saw in Carrie. Thank you Greg for the love you bought into this world and may God keep you in the light of his presence. May God’s love be overflowing in you.
A moment will indeed come, in time, when you will be joined in heaven with your beloved Carrie and your two boys for all of eternity.
Click on title for link to obituary for Greg Van Dette.